It’s been six months since Justice Antonin Scalia’s death left a vacancy on the nation’s highest court. President Obama named Judge Merrick Garland to the bench — but Senate Republicans refuse to even hold a hearing on his nomination.
Highlights from this year’s Supreme Court term included three significant wins, one painful loss, and one unsettled matter: The Court upheld affirmative action, struck down onerous restrictions on abortion and affirmed the “one person, one vote” principle.
This morning, the Supreme Court delivered a unanimous decision in Evenwel v. Abbott, the case challenging the well-established “one person, one vote” principle that legislative districts should be based on the total number of people who live within them.
Despite his not being a friend to our community or to the causes of racial and reproductive justice, U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia was a staunch defender of important aspects of the Constitution, especially rights to free speech and against unreasonable search and seizure.
Contraception is a core preventive health service for women, including bisexual women and lesbians, for treating endometriosis, related pelvic pain and other health problems as well as for preventing pregnancy. Coverage of all FDA-approved contraceptives was guaranteed by the Affordable Care Act.
Fifty years ago, the Supreme Court upheld the right of individuals to access birth control despite the opposition of some religious sects. Since then, mainstream attitudes have changed. But fundamentalist religious views about reproductive health and sexuality still influence our politics and law.
In its Citizens United ruling that corporations have free speech rights that can trump campaign finance laws, the U.S. Supreme Court essentially agreed with the worldview Mitt Romney espoused on the campaign trail: “Corporations are people, my friend.” We may soon feel further reverberations of that worldview.