Carrying firearms outside the home is legal in New York

After the abortion, the US Supreme Court is poised for more revolutions

WASHINGTON | After federal abortion law was blown up, the very conservative United States Supreme Court on Monday began a new session that could end in further reversals, particularly for the rights of African-American or gay couples.

• Also read: Republican senator proposes banning abortion in US after 15 weeks

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Discrimination, suffrage, immigration… Several controversial files are on the menu of the High Judiciary.

First on Monday’s agenda: A dispute over federal government jurisdiction over wetlands.

The court made its comeback, for the first time in its history, with a black woman among its judges. The arrival of Ketanji Brown Jackson, appointed by Democratic President Joe Biden, does not change the balance within the temple of American law: He retains a solid conservative majority of six out of nine justices, including three chosen by Republican Donald Trump.

In 2021-2022, “the Court relied on this conservative bloc to reconsider long-established case law” and “appears poised to proceed (…) without qualification,” according to David Cole, legal director of the powerful civil rights organization ACLU.

In June, the Supreme Court overturned the ruling that had guaranteed American women’s right to abortion for nearly 50 years, sanctified the right to bear arms, strengthened the public profile of religion, and restricted public powers.

His decisions left left in confusion but delighted conservative circles, which for years denounced the “judicial militancy” of the court, which had become the arbiter of major societal debates.

Ilya Shapiro, an expert at the Manhattan Conservative Institute, believes the court is in the process of correcting “the excesses” of the 1970s.


For him, the 1978 ruling that defined the legal framework for affirmative action programs at universities is the next “on the court’s radar.”

On October 31, the Supreme Court will hold a hearing on the selection mechanisms at the prestigious Harvard University and the North Carolina Public University.

These institutions, like many others, consider racial criteria to ensure student diversity and to correct the under-representation of Black and Hispanic young people that results from the United States’ racist and segregationist past.

These policies, sometimes referred to as “reverse racism,” have always been the subject of challenges from the right, but so far appeals have failed.

The Supreme Court itself has twice ruled that universities can take certain racial criteria into account provided they aim solely to ensure the diversity of the student population.

She now seems ready to back down.


In another filing linked to an Alabama state election card, which is on the menu as of Tuesday, she was able to unravel part of the emblematic 1965 law that ended racial segregation rules that restricted voting rights for African Americans in the South.

This “civil rights law” provides the ability to group black voters into a constituency to ensure they have few representatives. But it’s illegal to focus them too much to reduce the weight of their voices.

The stakes are high in a country where black voters are overwhelmingly voting for Democrats, while white voters are more likely to support Republicans.

Another North Carolina filing could have “serious implications for democracy,” according to Sophia Lin Lakin, who follows election issues for the ACLU.

That state’s elected Republicans are defending a new interpretation of the constitution that, if adopted by the Supreme Court, would “give local legislatures power without control over the organization of federal elections,” she says.

cake and website

Five years after ruling in favor of a Christian pastry chef who refused to sell a wedding cake to a male couple, the Supreme Court will also revisit this sensitive issue, this time from a website creator.

In 2018, it issued a limited-scope decision. This time, it could more widely allow retailers whose products are “creative” in nature to break anti-discrimination laws in the name of their religious beliefs.

If we follow this logic, “Architects may refuse to design homes for black families, pastry chefs to bake birthday cakes for Muslim children…” fears David Cole.

By June 30, the deadline for its verdicts, the Supreme Court also has to rule on the policy of deporting undocumented immigrants, the death penalty or the policy of adopting Native American children.