On October 5, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States will begin its next term. The Court usually reviews about 70 cases per term. Ten cases have been set for oral argument in October, and another 10 will be heard in November. The Court’s docket includes cases involving the death penalty, affirmative action, unions, civil asset forfeiture, and more.
This terms notable cases include:
The Court also may take up cases involving abortion, another challenge to Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate, solitary confinement, and the seizure of cell phone data by law enforcement.
Regarding the pending cases involving abortion, the Court is considering issues involving abortion physician admitting privileges laws.
In recent years, several state legislatures have passed laws requiring abortion physicians to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. Mississippi passed such a law in 2012, and the state’s only licensed abortion clinic challenged the law in court, arguing that such a requirement imposed an undue burden on women seeking to obtain abortions. The new law required that all clinic doctors have admitting privileges, and local hospitals rejected the applications from two of the Mississippi clinic’s three doctors, in part because they were from out of state. Texas passed a similar law, which also resulted in a lawsuit.
In Whole Women’s Health v. Cole, the Fifth Circuit upheld Texas’ law, finding that the law advanced Texas’ interest in maternal health and increased the quality of care. Meanwhile, in Currier v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Fifth Circuit, but with a different three-judge panel, ruled against Mississippi’s law since it would require women seeking an abortion to go to another state, noting that a state may not “lean on its sovereign neighbors to provide protection of its citizens’ constitutional rights.”