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In the 2012-2013 term, despite positive outcomes in several high-profile cases, the conservative wing of the Supreme Court managed to accomplish a great deal to advance its agenda. From eviscerating one of the most important and effective laws from the Civil Rights movement, to insulating big business from meaningful consumer action, to undercutting adequate redress for victims of workplace harassment, the Roberts Court has achieved its right-wing agenda with alarming success.
The Supreme Court’s upcoming term similarly includes numerous cases with the potential to greatly affect everyday Americans’ lives. The granted cases concern critical questions regarding our criminal justice system, access to the political process, and the power of corporate interests.
Specifically, in this term the Court could:
- Eliminate limits on aggregate direct contributions to candidates and party committees (McCutcheon)
- Strike down “buffer zone” laws, which protect women and families from harassment when accessing reproductive and family planning services (McCullen)
- Impose disparate restrictions on access to political processes for students of color (Schuette)
- Make it easier for corporate interests to escape accountability for harms caused to consumers (Mississippi ex rel Hood, Chadbourne)
- Strip the president of authority to appoint officials to vital government positions (Noel Canning)
- Severely impair criminal defendants’ ability to receive a fair trial and sentencing (Burrage, Titlow)
- Weaken the constitutional wall between church and state (Galloway)
- Take away one of labor’s most powerful and uncontroversial unionizing tools (Mulhall) Provide police with a loophole to conduct a warrantless search of a defendant’s home despite his or her explicit objections (Fernandez)