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New Supreme Court Session to Include Death Penalty, Union, Abortion Debates



Following a 2014-2015 term that saw a string of landmark rulings on same-sex marriage, health care subsidies and free speech, the Supreme Court of the United States will gavel into session Oct. 5, as it does each first Monday of October. This year's term should be just as volatile, when the high court takes up affirmative action and the fate of public unions. Additionally, court watchers say the Supreme Court may take up its first major abortion case since 2007.

This morning's New York Times reports the high court is expected to take up a challenge to a Texas law that threatens to reduce the number of abortion clinics allowed in the state from more than 40 down to 10.

Additionally, the Los Angeles Times reports there should be at least five controversial cases during the next session that may "affect the direction of the country," including:
  • A challenge to a California law that allows public-sector unions to require members and nonmembers alike to subsidize the union's political activities.

  • Two separate challenges to death penalty procedures.

  • A challenge to race-based admissions to American colleges and universities.

  • A challenge to political redistricting procedures.

  • A highly charged debate over whether lawyers regularly use peremptory challenges to prevent jury members on the basis of race or gender.