Those who thought the current term of the U.S. Supreme Court was a yawner had to rethink their views Monday, as the justices ended the term with major news on President Donald Trump’s travel ban, church-state relations and gay rights, among other hot-button issues.
The court handed down six decisions, issued dozens of orders, asked the government for its views in four cases, granted review in new cases and scheduled two cases for reargument in the fall.
The only letdown—or bright spot, depending on your viewpoint—was that no justice announced retirement. Social media posters were in near hysteria over rumors and speculation that Justice Anthony Kennedy or Clarence Thomas, or both, were ready to hang up their robes. As of press time Monday, nobody was departing.
The only retirement that Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. announced from the bench was that of journalist Lyle Denniston, who has covered the Supreme Court since 1958—before two of the current justices, Elena Kagan and Neil Gorsuch, were born.
It’s a lot to process. Here are the stories we posted about today’s Supreme Court action:
Inside the Supreme Court, There Was Kennedy and Everyone Else
Kennedy, hosting a reunion for his clerks on June 24, addressed the speculation that he would be retiring: “There has been a lot of speculation about … a certain announcement from me tonight,” he said, according to the blog Above the Law. “And that announcement is: the bar will remain open after the end of the formal program!”
Supreme Court Narrows Travel Ban Injunctions, Puts Case on October Calendar
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday partially allowed President Donald Trump’s executive order suspending immigration from six Muslim-majority nations and the U.S. refugee program to take effect and agreed to hear arguments on the order’s legality in the fall. The travel ban, which may go into effect within 72 hours, was narrowed by the justices to apply only to foreign nationals who have no “credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.”
SCOTUS Ends Term With Blow to Class Action Plaintiffs
The U.S. Supreme Court put another hurdle in the path of class action plaintiffs Monday with a 5-4 ruling that strictly interpreted deadlines for opting out of ongoing securities litigation. Ruling on the final sitting for its current term, the court said a three-year deadline should govern and prevent later lawsuits in class actions.
Corporate Whistleblowers Catch the Supreme Court’s Attention
Federal appellate courts have struggled recently over exactly when a corporate insider becomes a whistleblower who’s entitled to the Dodd-Frank Act’s protections against retaliation. The U.S. Supreme Court’s now jumping into the fray to resolve tension among the lower courts, agreeing Monday to take up Digital Realty Trust Inc. v. Somers from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Supreme Court Opens Door to More Government Aid to Churches
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday sided with a Missouri church in a closely-watched First Amendment case, ruling 7-2 that states cannot exclude religious institutions from obtaining funds from neutral government grant programs. Justice Sonia Sotomayor, joined by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, dissented. “This case is about nothing less than the relationship between religious institutions and the civil government—that is, between church and state,” Sotomayor wrote.
SCOTUS Will Review Gay Wedding Cake Case from Colorado
Two years after embracing same-sex marriage, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday agreed to deal with a repercussion from its ruling by taking up the case of a Colorado baker who refused to make a custom wedding cake for a gay couple.
Justices Revive Suit Against U.S. Agent Who Fatally Shot Mexican Teenager
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday revived a Mexican family’s attempt to hold a U.S. Border Patrol officer liable for the shooting death of their unarmed teenage son on foreign soil, and ordered reargument next term in two unrelated immigration cases.
Justices, Shying From Second Amendment, Won’t Touch California’s Gun Restrictions
The U.S. Supreme Court, declining to step back into the contentious arena of gun regulation, refused on Monday to review the constitutionality of California’s restrictions on the concealed and open carry of guns. The justices’ refusal to take up Peruta v. California came on the heels of the June 14 shooting in Virginia that wounded five, including a congressman, at a baseball practice. The court last took up a major Second Amendment challenge seven years ago.
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