Factbox-Abortion, gun rights, religion on agenda for U.S. Supreme Court

Second Amendment


(Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court’s new nine-month term, which begins on Monday, promises to be among the most momentous in generations. The justices are poised to decide major cases that could roll back abortion rights and broaden gun and religious rights.

Here is a look at some of cases the court will decide during the term, which runs through the end of next June.

Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization

The scope of the constitutional right to abortion is at stake in this case, to be argued on Dec. 1. It involves an appeal by Mississippi to revive the state’s Republican-backed law that bans abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Lower courts have ruled against the state. Mississippi is asking the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling that legalized abortion nationwide.

New York State Rifle & Pistol Assn. v. Bruen

This case, to be argued on Nov. 3, could further expand gun rights in a National Rifle Association-backed challenge to New York state’s restrictions on people carrying concealed handguns in public. The case tests the scope of the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms and could undermine firearms control efforts nationally.

Carson v. Makin

Religious rights are at issue in this case, to be argued on Dec. 8. It involves a challenge to a Maine tuition assistance program that bars taxpayer money from being used to pay for religious instruction in schools. The court last year endorsed tax credits in Montana to help pay for students to attend religious schools, one of several rulings in recent years broadening religious rights.

Shurtleff v. Boston

The justices will hear arguments in early 2022 in a case involving religious and free speech rights – a group’s challenge to Boston’s rejection of its request to fly a flag bearing the image of a Christian cross at city hall. The Christian group, called Camp Constitution, said Boston violated its free speech rights under the Constitution’s First Amendment. Boston had not previously denied flag requests including one for LGBT rights.

United States v. Tsarnaev

The justices will hear arguments on Oct. 13 in a bid by President Joe Biden’s administration to reinstate Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s death sentence for helping carry out the 2013 attack that killed three people and wounded more than 260 others.

United States v. Vaello-Madero

This case, to be argued on Nov. 9, will determine whether the U.S. Congress violated the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection under the law when it excluded residents of Puerto Rico from accessing a supplementary Social Security benefit for needy seniors who are blind or disabled.

United States v. Zubaydah

The justices will hear arguments on Wednesday in the U.S. government’s bid to prevent two former CIA contractors from being questioned in a criminal investigation in Poland over their role in interrogating a suspected high-ranking al Qaeda figure who was repeatedly subjected to waterboarding. The case centers on Abu Zubaydah, a Palestinian man held without charges at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Federal Election Commission v. Ted Cruz for Senate

The court early in 2022 will hear the U.S. Federal Election Commission’s bid to restore a campaign finance law that caps the amount of money candidates can be reimbursed for personal loans to their campaigns. In a challenge brought by Republican U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, a lower court found that the cap violates First Amendment free speech rights by burdening political expression.

(Compiled by Andrew Chung in New York; Editing by Will Dunham)

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