The Supreme Court ruled in favor of a baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple on June 4. The court decided based on how the baker was treated by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which represented the couple, rather than deciding based on civil rights or religious freedom.
This case has been in the mainstream news since the incident occurred in 2012. Several other cases with the potential to affect the nation have also been gathering attention.
Here is a look at some of the major upcoming Supreme Court cases that will have rulings soon.
- Carpenter v. United States
This case will rule on whether or not it is constitutional for law enforcement to track a suspect’s cellphone data without a warrant. New issues raised by the advancement of the digital age will confront the court. This ruling could set a constitutional precedence defining how the United States deals with privacy and data misuse in the digital age.
Brian Bates, a sophomore studying computer science, said the court has already ruled it unconstitutional for law enforcement to put trackers on suspects’ cars without a warrant and that cellphones are more accurate than trackers. Bates said this could be a dangerous precedent if allowed.
“This case is very important because we put our entire lives into our phones,” Bates said. “Everything from our bank accounts to what type of shoes we like is tracked and stored in our phones. All of that data is transmitted through them, and over the cellphone towers is accessible by the company that provides the service.”
2. Hawaii v. Trump
President Donald Trump signed Executive Order No. 13769 on Jan. 27, 2017. The executive order suspended the entry of foreign nationals from seven different countries and is often referred to as the “Travel Ban” or “Muslim Ban,” as all the countries are predominantly Muslim countries, according to oyez.org.
One of the main questions the court will consider is whether or not the President has the authority to issue such a ban.
In the majority opinion written by Justice Anthony Kennedy for the same-sex couple wedding cake case, he cited anti-religious hostility as the reason for ruling in favor of the baker. This reasoning could affect the travel ban decision, as Trump repeatedly campaigned on the promise of banning Muslims, according to Mother Jones.
“The official expressions of hostility to religion in some of the commissioners’ comments—comments that were not disavowed at the Commission or by the State at any point in the proceedings that led to affirmance of the order—were inconsistent with what the Free Exercise Clause requires,” Kennedy wrote in the opinion.
3. Gill v. Whitford
In 2010, Wisconsin residents voted for a Republican trifecta for the first time in decades. In 2011, the governor signed into law a bill that redistricted voters. This redistricting is calculated to allow Republicans to maintain a majority more easily, a tactic known as gerrymandering.
Gerrymandering is a form of manipulating boundaries and districts in order to give an advantage to a certain political party. Gill v. Whitford deals with whether or not the Supreme Court should hear cases of partisan gerrymandering, and if this was a case of gerrymandering, according to oyez.org.
According to the Washington Post on June 18 the Supreme Court decided to postpone their decision on the gerrymandering cases it faced, passing the cases back to the lower courts for more information gathering and deliberation.
The Supreme Court will rule on all of these cases by the end of June or early July.