Docket Dossier

What we’re paying attention to at the Supreme Court.

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Docket dossier

As you know from a few Bridges ago, the Supreme Court is poised to release its decision on the monumental Trump v. Anderson case any day now, which would determine whether former President Donald Trump could appear on the ballot this coming election. We’re keeping tabs on any news about that ruling, but it’s not the only case that has our attention.

Trump v. Anderson is only one of several pivotal cases being decided by the justices this term. On the docket are cases that could upend immigration policy, criminalize aspects of reproductive health care, and entrust corporations with unchecked power. I asked our resident Supreme Court experts at The Constitution Project at POGO to explain which cases they’re watching closely this term and why.

Corporations square up

For years, corporate interests have been teeing up cases that seek to utterly transform and reduce the government’s ability to regulate them. And unfortunately, things may soon go their way.

Take Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo and its companion case, Relentless, Inc. v. Department of Commerce. The scope of these cases may seem niche (whether commercial fisheries should be made to pay for federal regulatory measures), but they could have a sweeping impact. The justices seem likely to use the opportunity these cases present to weaken or overturn the long-standing Chevron deference, which requires courts to defer to federal agencies’ interpretation of federal laws. Experts have warned that such a decision could gut the power of federal agencies to regulate not just the fishing industry but everything — the environment, public health, the internet, and more.

And those aren’t the only cases looking to take down regulatory agencies that protect consumers from corporate interests. Corner Post, Inc. v. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System could dismantle the statute of limitations for challenging agency regulations, which could open up a deluge of challenges to long-standing regulations that have protected consumers for decades.

Roe v. Wade reverberations

Next month, the Supreme Court is set to hear its most pivotal abortion case since its overturning of Roe v. Wade. Food and Drug Administration v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine will have the justices considering a lower court’s ruling to limit access to mifepristone, a medication for terminating pregnancy that’s used in more than half of all abortions in America.

If the justices uphold the ruling, it could affect millionsincluding those who live in states where abortion is a protected right. Making the matter even more worrisome is how a decision to uphold the ruling could supercharge surveillance over people seeking reproductive health care, which we already see happening across the country.

But it’s not just vigilante groups who can violate our digital privacy — because of a loophole in federal law, federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies can also purchase location and browsing data from data brokers without a warrant, which could enable them to enforce reproductive health care bans with alarming ease and zeal.

The Texas effect

After two whole years of functioning essentially unchecked by the federal government, Operation Lone Star — Texas’ state-run immigration enforcement program, helmed by Texas Governor Greg Abbott — finally received some semblance of pushback from the Supreme Court. The court ruled earlier this year that Texas could not block federal agents from accessing the U.S.-Mexico border, and that Border Patrol must be allowed to take down the concertina wire Texas law enforcement has been erecting along the Rio Grande.

But Abbott is unwilling to back down and has signaled his intent to continue erecting concertina wire even when it prevents the Border Patrol from accessing the border. Texas has passed a new law that would authorize state officials to not only arrest migrants for crossing the border, but to transport them out of the country if convicted — its clearest conflict yet with federal immigration authority. And Texas’ actions have made quite the impression on other states keen on taking a stance on immigration, including Florida. Our experts think it’s likely that lawsuits challenging these state immigration laws and their interference with federal law could make their way to the Supreme Court this term.

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