Welcome Back to the Supreme Court!
The Supreme Court is officially back in session as of 10 a.m. today. As The Washington Post puts it, the Supreme Court has "an agenda that both reflects the nation's political landscape and offers the potential to reshape it."
The Court has some particularly important cases on its docket; cases pertaining to privacy, eyewitness identification, separation of church and state and the ministerial exception, and immigration will all be heard, and the Court is widely expected to grant review of the challenges to the health care reform law (formally known as the Affordable Care Act).
Of special interest to the Reform Movement are Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC, which focuses on the ministerial exception clause, and M.B.Z v Clinton, which asks whether courts can enforce a federal statute governing how the Secretary of State is instructed to record the birthplace of American citizens on passports and related documents. The URJ has joined amicus briefs in both cases.
The timing of the term, so close to the 2012 presidential election, promises to make the Court's decisions more relevant to national politics; both the Republican presidential candidates and the Obama re-election campaign would likely weigh in on Supreme Court decisions about immigration and the Affordable Care Act in particular, as these issues have already figured prominently in the lead-up to the election.
As always, we at the RAC will track the Supreme Court's work this session and focus on some of these decisions as they get handed down by the Court.
To follow along on your own, you can find the oral arguments calendar here.