The Supreme Court will begin what is sure to be an influential 2022 when it hears oral arguments in the cases challenging Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandates on January 7. It could preview major events in the second half of the current term set to expire in June. Major decisions are expected in cases that will present opportunities for President Trump’s three appointees, Justices Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett, to join with Justices Thomas and Alito to reestablish conservative Constitutional values in America’s legal system.
The 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade is in a prime position to be overturned in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. Roe is often described as the worst judicial decision of the twentieth century, and the strongest argument that the abortion industry appeared to have to support it now is that it has been in place for as long as it has. It took the court 58 years to overturn the concept of “separate but equal” discrimination, but it finally did in 1954. The time is right now for the court to return the question of abortion to the people acting through their state legislatures.
The court will be addressing affirmative action in Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard. Even when affirmative action is used with innocent intentions, it must use unconstitutional discrimination to operate. In the Harvard case, Asian students have objected to admission standards that exclude them based solely on their race or ethnicity. Justice Thomas is considered a likely choice to write the majority opinion in the case as the court’s most consistent opponent to racially based affirmative action discrimination over the years.
Second Amendment rights will be further defined in New York Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen. That case deals with the right to concealed carry in public spaces. It has been practically impossible to obtain a carry permit in New York for many years. The court will decide if ultra-restrictive permit requirements counter the right to self-defense.
The administrative state is being challenged in AHA v. Becerra. That case will examine whether there must be a legal presumption of the authority of the administrative state to act. The case could result in a significant return to the original understanding of our Constitutional government that is designed to force Congress to be responsible to the citizens instead of giving virtually unlimited power to unelected bureaucrats.
The major cases awaiting final decisions and opinions by the summer have the potential to set the tone for the Trump legacy on the Supreme Court for many years to come.