The Supreme Court opened a new term on October 4 that is full of important matters about how much access to abortion can be restricted and whether New York State violated the Second Amendment.
Chief Justice John Roberts opened the word by saying that Justice Brett Kavanaugh was attending remotely. Kavanaugh tested positive for COVID-19 last week, though a court spokesman said all members of his family tested negative and he was showing no symptoms.
Monday was the first in-person convening since the debate was turned away due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Two cases were to be heard before the judges who returned home in the evening.
One relates to a challenge filed by Mississippi against Tennessee, the former allegedly in relation to draining groundwater from an aquifer beneath the latter’s area. Mississippi is seeking more than $600 million in damages.
The second concerns the entry into a home by a law enforcement officer who did not identify himself. The man’s lawyers say the admission violated the man’s constitutional rights.
Later in this period, judges will hear as the parties argue whether Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban is legal. Opponents say it does not follow the precedent set by Roe v. Wade, while supporters say the decision was unfairly decided and expect the Supreme Court to reverse it.
Another high-profile case concerns New York state law that applicants for pistol permits must prove “reasonable cause” to carry a gun, a requirement opponents say violates the Second Amendment.
Court dismissed some cases before the term opened
The justices attended a private conference last week to decide whether to hear or outright dismiss several cases.
Just before the new term opened, a 66-page document (PDF) was released outlining his decisions. He denied several appeals.
One notable denial: a case in which residents of the District of Columbia attempt to obtain a voting member of Congress. Right now, there is only one non-voting representative in Washington.
The plaintiffs, a group of 11 residents, were dismissed last year by an appeals court panel that held that the Constitution states that members of the House of Representatives must be elected by the people in the states. District is not a case, the judges noted.
Another denial pertains to a New York state law that taxes opioid manufacturers and companies that distribute drugs. Two trade groups tried to challenge the law but were ultimately unsuccessful.
The Justice also dismissed the petitions of the convicted criminals who were sentenced to death.
The only written opinion pertains to the two denials.
Justice Stephen Breuer wrote that he believes the “excessive delay” in execution undermines the punitive logic of the death penalty. The undertrial prisoner, Carl Van Buntian, was convicted of capital murder in Texas and sentenced to death in 1991 and contested in 2012. He has reportedly spent the last 20 years in solitary confinement.
Breuer wrote, “His lengthy imprisonment, and the imprisonment of others like him, calls into question the constitutionality of the death penalty and reinforces the need for this court or other courts to consider that question in an appropriate case.”
Justice Sonia Sotomayor took issue with another rebuttal of a plea by capital murderer Mickey Thomas. She said that Thomas, who argued that he had ineffective counsel, should have been granted relief by the trial court. However, she said the Supreme Court’s refusal was justified.
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times