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SCOTUS Tackling Gun Rights, Abortion, and More in 2019-2020 Term

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 30: United States Supreme Court (Front L-R) Associate Justice Stephen Breyer, Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice John Roberts, Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice Samuel Alito, Jr., (Back L-R) Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch, Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice Elena Kagan and Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh pose for their official portrait at the in the East Conference Room at the Supreme Court building November 30, 2018 in Washington, DC. Earlier this month, Chief Justice Roberts publicly defended the independence and integrity of the federal judiciary against President Trump after he called a judge who had ruled against his administration’s asylum policy “an Obama judge.” “We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges,” Roberts said in a statement. “What we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing before them. That independent judiciary is something we should all be thankful for.” (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
By Laura Temme, Esq. | Last updated on

The Supreme Court's upcoming term includes several high-profile cases for the conservative-majority court to decide. From abortion to gun rights, to protections for the LGBT community, the decisions made this term will have an impact for years to come.

The court's 2019-2020 term includes review of the following questions:

Do the Protections of Title VII Extend to Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity?

On October 8th, the court will hear oral arguments on a set of three cases: Bostock v. Clayton County, GeorgiaR.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes Inc. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; and Altitude Express Inc. v. Zarda. All three pose the question of whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act – which prohibits discrimination based on sex – protects people who are gay, bisexual, or transgender from employment discrimination.

Were Members of Puerto Rico's Financial Oversight Board Lawfully Appointed?

With oral arguments set for October 15, Financial Oversight Board for Puerto Rico v. Aurelius Investment LLC asks whether the seven members of the board tasked with restructuring Puerto Rico's debt were appointed in violation of the Constitution because they were not confirmed by the Senate. The board argues the Appointments Clause does not apply because Puerto Rico is a territory, not a state.

Can President Trump Rescind DACA?

In Trump v. NAACP, McAleenan v. Vidal, and Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California, the court will consider whether the Trump Administration complied with the Administrative Procedure Act when making moves to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program. Oral arguments are scheduled for November 12.

Can Non-Citizens Sue Border Patrol Agents for Constitutional Violations?

The family of a Mexican teenager fatally shot by Border Patrol agent Jesus Mesa in 2010 is seeking monetary damages in a civil suit. Mesa fired across the Texas-Mexico border at the teenager, who was on Mexican soil when he was killed. The court previously ruled on this case in 2017 but did not decide whether the boy's family could sue for a violation of the 4th Amendment. The case is set for arguments November 12.

Can New York Limit Gun Transport by Those with Premises Licenses?

In what might be the most significant gun rights case of the last ten years, New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. City of New York challenges NYC's restrictions on the transportation of handguns. The law forbids people who have a license to possess guns in their home (known as a “premises license") from transporting those weapons outside city limits. The court will hear oral arguments on December 2.

Can States Require “Admitting Privileges" for Abortions?

Gee v. June Medical Services challenges a Louisiana law that requires doctors who perform abortions to have “admitting privileges" at a nearby hospital. Opponents allege that only one doctor in all of Louisiana has been able to meet this requirement. The Supreme Court struck down a similar law out of Texas in 2016.

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