SCOTUS set to tackle abortion, guns in new term
U.S. Supreme Court. Image via AP.

Supreme Court
Will the conservative majority split on key cases?

The Supreme Court is returning to a new term to take up some familiar topics — guns and abortion — and concerns about ethics swirling around the justices.

The year also will have a heavy focus on social media and how free speech protections apply online. A big unknown is whether the court will be asked to weigh in on any aspect of the criminal cases against former President Donald Trump and others or efforts in some states to keep the Republican off the 2024 presidential ballot because of his role in trying to overturn the results of the 2020 election that he lost to Democrat Joe Biden.

Lower-profile but vitally important, several cases in the term that begins Monday ask the justices to constrict the power of regulatory agencies.

One of those cases, to be argued Tuesday, threatens the ability of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to function. Unlike most agencies, the bureau is not dependent on annual appropriations from Congress, but instead gets its funding directly from the Federal Reserve. The idea when the agency was created following the recession in 2007-08 was to shield it from politics.

But the federal appeals court in New Orleans struck down the funding mechanism. The ruling would cause “profound disruption by calling into question virtually every action the CFPB has taken” since its creation, the Biden administration said in a court filing.

The same federal appeals court also produced the ruling that struck down a federal law that aims to keep guns away from people facing domestic violence restraining orders from having firearms.

The abortion case likely to be heard by the justices also would be the court’s first word on the topic since it reversed Roe v. Wade’s right to abortion. The new case stems from a ruling, also by the 5th Circuit, to limit the availability of mifepristone, a medication used in the most common method of abortion in the United States.

The administration already won an order from the high court blocking the appellate ruling while the case continues. The justices could decide later in the fall to take up the mifepristone case this term.

The assortment of cases from the 5th Circuit could offer Chief Justice John Roberts more opportunities to forge alliances in major cases that cross ideological lines. In those cases, the conservative-dominated appeals court, which includes six Trump appointees, took aggressive legal positions, said Irv Gornstein, executive director of the Georgetown law school’s Supreme Court Institute.

“The 5th Circuit is ready to adopt the politically most conservative position on almost any issue, no matter how implausible or how much defiling of precedent it takes,” Gornstein said.

The three Supreme Court justices appointed by Trump — Amy Coney Barrett, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh — have been together in the majority of the some of the biggest cases in the past two years, including on guns, abortion and ending affirmative action in college admissions.

But in some important cases last term, the court split in unusual ways. In the most notable of those, Kavanaugh joined with Roberts and the court’s three liberal justices to rule that Alabama had not done enough to reflect the political power of Black voters in its congressional redistricting.

Roberts, Kavanaugh, this time joined by Barrett, also were in the majority with the liberal justices in a case that rejected a conservative legal effort to cut out state courts from oversight of elections for Congress and president.

Those outcomes have yet to do much to ameliorate the court’s image in the public’s mind. The most recent Gallup Poll, released last week, found Americans’ approval of and trust in the court hovering near record lows.

Associated Press


  • Rick Whitaker

    October 1, 2023 at 8:18 am

    yeah, supreme court bad. thomas should have already been removed.

  • Earl Pitts "Has over 7,500 Lefty Fans" American

    October 1, 2023 at 8:58 am

    Good mornting America,
    There is zero chance of SCOTUS liberalizing abortion within the next 100 years to allow for Dook 4 Brains Leftist dreams of a National uptick in the murder of the un-born. Even though my Besty Lefty Rick (above) lusts for the taste of the unborn.
    It’s been thrown back to the States to over-see abortion and there is no sitting Justice that “Really” wants abortion thrown back to the SCOTUS.
    The “Supreams” are very relived to have kicked it back to the States. Not even “The Wise Latina” really wants it back.
    ***FYI my Dook 4 Brains members of my, Earl Pitts American’s Fan Club:
    Dont be like Rick and fall victim to this cleverly designed propaganda with the intent of making you think abortion is somehow related to your 2024 POTUS vote.
    My appoligies to my Dook 4 Brains Lefty Fans as most of you already have been properly educated by Earl and already knew what I wrote above to be 100% gospel truth. *I’ll keep working on Rick – he’s already come a long way on increasing his political acumen under my tutteledge.*
    Thank you to all of my “Besty Lefty” members of The Earl Pitts American Fan Club,

    • Rick Whitaker

      October 1, 2023 at 6:10 pm

      supreme court bad

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Sign up for Sunburn