The U.S. Supreme Court continues to resolve hotly disputed cases as the country struggles with perhaps its most substantial political divide since the Civil War.
Liberal extremists worked tirelessly during the Obama-Biden years to carve out exclusive rights for their constituents. In doing so, Democrats had asserted that LGBTQ community members enjoyed powerful interests over Christians Americans. Left-leaning states have also pushed cruel abortion-on-demand laws that entice doctors to deny life-saving care to babies “born alive” following botched procedures.
After President Donald Trump restored the conservative majority with the elevation of justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, rule of law and human decency have resulted in a re-emergence of religious liberties and family values. These are four of the watershed cases facing the high court in 2020.
1: The Fate of 700,000 Dreamers Hangs in the Balance
Congressional gridlock forced Obama to create the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to avert upwards of 700,000 people being unfairly deported. Knowing no other home but America, these young people were scurried across the border as minors and at no fault of their own. The law requires they be deported due to illegal status. Many believe Obama’s executive decision was, and remains, unconstitutional because it basically creates law denied to the executive branch.
Several state attorney generals approached President Trump letting him know they were prepared to proceed with lawsuits to end the program. The president, in turn, agreed to a stay while Congress resolved the issue. Democrats voted down measures that would have given these Dreamers permanent legal residency. The high court heard oral arguments on the matter in November, and the fate of 700,000 hangs in the balance.
Many legal insiders predict the DACA program will be struck down. They also anticipate the Supreme Court will include a nuance that gives Congress time to correct its recent Democrat members’ mistake. Others believe that Trump will intervene before the Dreamers can be deported. This may be the highest-stakes case outside of abortion in 2020. The case is called Department of Homeland Security, et al. v. Regents of the University of California.
2: Louisiana Abortion Law Challenge
Although a challenge brought to a similar Texas law resulted in a liberal win in 2016, the high court’s makeup has changed. In a 5-3 vote, moderate Justice Anthony Kennedy sided with the staunch liberal bloc. But with his retirement and President Trump placing Gorsuch and Kavanaugh on the bench, a Louisiana law requiring abortion clinics to have a doctor on staff who enjoys admitting privileges at a nearby hospital is likely to pass muster. In 2016, the ruling decried such practices as an “undue burden” on women seeking to abort their unborn child. Oral arguments are expected to be heard in early March, and this marks the first abortion-related case by the Trump appointments. The case is called June Medical Services v. Gee.
3: Scholarships Benefiting Religious Schools
Much to the chagrin of liberal justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor, the majority handed religious institutions a major win in 2017 along similar lines. In Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Missouri v. Comer, the local government denied the institution a public grant to build a playscape. The recreational resource would be enjoyed by the community at large, as well as benefit the local children attending the church’s school.
“The exclusion of Trinity Lutheran from a public benefit for which it is otherwise qualified, solely because it is a church, is odious to our Constitution,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote, “and cannot stand.”
The Montana Supreme Court apparently decided not to apply that precedent and ruled in favor of secular rights over religious ones. It effectively invalidated scholarships that benefit religious schools and local children purely on that basis. Outraged parents who utilized their right to school choice brought Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, and the high court will hear arguments Jan. 22. Many expect the Trinity Church precedent and religious rights to prevail in this case.
4: President Trump’s Financial Records
The bad blood between the White House and congressional Democrats could result in a landmark ruling that defines where lines are drawn between the co-equal branches of government. Led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and California Rep. Adam Schiff, Democrats have launched relentless witch hunts and are clearly on a fishing expedition as they seek to access the president’s financial records.
Under no legal obligation, the president has declined to release tax returns and financial records knowing full well that liberal extremists would dox and harass his business associates. The House Oversight and Reform Committee issued subpoenas, and the high court is expected to decide where executive privilege ends and where partisan harassment begins. The rulings on three specific cases will likely go down as a defining moment in constitutional law history. They include Trump v. Mazars, Trump v. Vance, and Trump v. Deutsche Bank.