Even after arguably the most important Supreme Court term in decades, which featured a series of culture war victories for conservatives, the bench is prepared for another set of contentious cases going into next year, Axios noted on Friday.
In Moore v. Harper, the high court may completely reshape how states run federal elections as they analyze the legality of a congressional map passed by North Carolina's majority Republican legislature.
The map has been rejected by the state's supreme court based on partisan gerrymandering, thus violating the North Carolina Constitution. However, state Republicans have argued the ruling violated the independent state legislature doctrine of the federal Constitution.
"This case has the potential to fundamentally rework the relationship between state legislatures and state courts in protecting voting rights in federal elections," legal expert Richard Hasen wrote on Election Law Blog. "It also could provide the path for election subversion."
The Supreme Court will also hear two cases relating to the consideration of race in college applications forwarded by the nonprofit group Students for Fair Admissions.
One is targeted against Harvard, a private institution. The other is the University of North Carolina, a state school. The group argues that the admissions process discriminates specifically against Asian American applicants.
Meanwhile, litigants will argue over Merrill v. Milligan in addressing the compliance of Alabama's congressional district maps with the Voting Rights Act. The ruling could impact other states, like Louisiana, whose new map was temporarily put on hold over similar concerns.
A free speech case regarding web designer Lorie Smith of Colorado could also deliver interesting results. Smith petitioned that she should not be forced to create websites for same-sex weddings, with her attorneys saying current laws violate her freedom of association.
"The U.S. Supreme Court has consistently held that anti-discrimination laws, like Colorado's, apply to all businesses selling goods and services," argued Colorado's Democratic Attorney General Phil Weiser, according to Reuters.
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