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As Chief Justice John Roberts’s Supreme Court approaches its tenth anniversary, it has begun to define its legacy and the impact it will have on our country. Americans have watched this Court upend decades-old precedent on voting rights, abortion access, workplace discrimination, religious liberties, and forced arbitration. It has blocked access to the courthouse doors and stacked the deck against everyday Americans. Still, there have been exceptions. The Court upheld major provisions of the Affordable Care Act, struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, and expanded privacy rights for Americans with cell phones.
This year again brought mixed results. While the Court found a constitutional right to marry for same-sex couples and upheld a key portion of the Affordable Care Act (in a case it never should have reviewed), in other cases it upheld barbaric executions, struck down environmental regulations, and restricted the ability of prisoners to seek justice for constitutional violations committed against them. This term will be remembered for its historic ruling in favor of marriage equality, but the losses along the way for everyday Americans will continue to have an impact for decades.