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Recent Supreme Court Cases Explained

By: Nadav Wigodsky Earlier this month, the Supreme Court began a new term. The term welcomes Justice Ketanji Jackson to the court as well as the public, who can hear arguments in person for the first time in two years.

The previous term controversially overturned Roe v. Wade and restricted the EPA’s authority to regulate emissions. The new term will hear its own set of controversial cases. These are some of the major cases on the docket this season.

Voting Rights and Election Procedures

Case: Merrill v. Milligan

In 2021, the state of Alabama created a redistricting plan of its nine house seats based on 2020 census data. The plan packed the majority of Black residents into a single district, thereby limiting their voting power. This was challenged as discriminatory by civil rights organizations as a violation of the Voting Rights Act, which prohibits discriminatory voting practices. The outcome of this case will have a major impact on voting rights and could further limit the power of the Voting Rights Act.

Affirmative Action in College Admissions


Students for Fair Admissions Inc. v. University of North Carolina

Students for Fair Admissions Inc. v. President & Fellows of Harvard College

These cases challenge the constitutionality of affirmative action in college admissions. Affirmative action allows universities to consider race in their admissions process to promote campus diversity. The cases allege that the universities' affirmative action policies discriminate against Asian Americans in favor of other racial groups. This case’s outcome could cause a major shift in the college admissions process.

Environmental Regulations

Case: Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency

This case concerns the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate wetlands under the Clean Water Act, which protects waterways from pollution. The court’s ruling will clarify which wetlands are considered “waters of the United States,” and are therefore subject to federal regulation. The outcome will have an impact on the government’s ability to control water pollution.

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