End of SCOTUS term poised to spark next phase of nation’s culture wars

Though Supreme Court watchers always look forward with great anticipation to the month of June for all of the significant rulings it yields, the end of this particular term promises to be one for the history books, with a series of decisions poised to stoke the flames of the nation’s ongoing cultural wars, as the Washington Times reports.

With issues of religious liberty, gun rights, and abortion having come to the court in recent months, the release of the panel’s final opinions of the term could send shockwaves through an already-divided populace.

In the opinion of conservative legal scholar Ilya Shapiro, “Abortion and guns are the biggest cases because those are the biggest culture war issues on the docket this term.”

“This term will likely be the one where President [Donald] Trump’s three nominees make their collective mark,” added Shapiro, referencing Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett.

The matter perhaps most likely to roil the electorate and potentially spark a summer of protest is that of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, which, if a draft majority opinion leaked last month remains largely unchanged, will overturn the landmark decision in Roe v. Wade and return issues of abortion rights and restrictions to the states.

Also likely to foment significant reaction in the coming weeks is a pending decision in the case of New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen, which will answer the question of whether a state government’s refusal to approve applications for concealed-carry weapons licenses for purposes of self defense stands in violation of the Second Amendment to the Constitution.

The effect of the ruling in the case – which many believe will come down against the restrictions on gun rights – is predicted by many to be substantial, with Adam Winkler of the UCLA School of Law opining that the justices are likely to “make it harder for cities and states to restrict concealed carry of firearms.”

Finally, the high court will also rule in the closely watched matter of Joseph Kennedy v. Bremerton School District, a case in which a high school football coach sued after losing his job over his practice of engaging in prayer on the gridiron at the conclusion of each game. Supporters of Kennedy contend that no teacher should have to shed their religious beliefs at the schoolhouse door, while opponents argue that a ruling in his favor could result in coerced student prayer.

With none of the aforementioned rulings having come down this week, all eyes will continue to be trained on the high court as summer heats up and the divisions over each of these hot-button issues remain deeply entrenched all across the land.