The Supreme Court Will Decide Three Critical Cases This Month
Before the end of this month, the Supreme Court will rule on three cases that could affect the lives of millions of Americans and have a lasting impact on our Constitution. Today, the Center for American Progress hosted a panel discussion with legal experts about what’s at stake as the justices prepare to rule on critical issues like marriage equality, health care, and civil rights.
Here’s what you need to know about these three critical cases:
Healthcare—King v. Burwell: We’ve talked a lot about what’s at stake in the lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act. But as a refresher: a ruling against the ACA in King v. Burwell would strip premium tax credits away from 6.4 million people and send the health insurance market into chaos. Eliminating federal tax credits could cause more than 8 million people to become uninsured and lead to nearly 10,000 preventable deaths each year.
Marriage Equality—Obergefell v. Hodges: In this case the justices could extend marriage equality to all 50 states. This case combines challenges from four states that have laws that either ban same-sex marriage, fail to recognize same-sex marriages from other states, or both. While the Court is widely expected to rule in favor of marriage equality, the way the opinion is drafted will shape how LGBT rights continue to develop after this case is decided, which will be key given that a ruling for same-sex marriage would mean many LGBT Americans could legally be married one day and legally fired the next.
Civil Rights—Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc. This case challenges the decades-old principle that the Fair Housing Act of 1968 should prohibit housing policies that result in discrimination, regardless of whether they were designed to discriminate. If the court rules in favor of the plaintiffs in this case it could make it much harder to fight discrimination in housing—and potentially all civil rights cases. For a more detailed explanation of this case, check out this CAP column.
While some politicians remain divided on these issues, public opinion on these cases is pretty settled: 55 percent of Americans believing the court should not block federal health care subsidies and 61 percent of Americans supporting marriage equality.
The Supreme Court is traditionally considered to rise above the partisanship and politicking of Congress and the executive branch. But as we well know, the Roberts Court has handed down a series of ideologically-charged decisions that have advanced a distinctly conservative agenda. And as the justices prepare to issue opinions on such critical issues, it has rarely been more important to have a judiciary that protects the rights of all Americans equally.
BOTTOM LINE: This month the Supreme Court will have the opportunity to issue landmark decisions on health care, civil rights, and marriage equality. As the branch charged with upholding the rights of all Americans, the Supreme Court should apply the core tenets of our Constitution rather than reflect the ideological crusades of the conservative movement.
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