SCOTUS Gives Gavin Grimm A Long-Awaited Victory | Justices Revive Case Concerning Police Use Of Force
June 28, 2021
LET IT BE, LET IT BE|
Today the Supreme Court left in place a decision that allows transgender students to use bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity. The case concerns GAVIN GRIMM who has been made famous for being the center of a longstanding legal dispute with his school board in Gloucester County, Virginia. Grimm was denied access to the boys’ bathroom years ago when he was a student, and at issue was whether federal anti-discrimination law applied to LGBTQ students like Gavin. JUSTICES CLARENCE THOMAS and SAMUEL ALITO said they would have taken up the case for next term.
A FAMILIAR STORY|
SCOTUS this morning also decided to revive a case involving a man who died in police custody after St. Louis law enforcement officers placed their weight on his back as he was shackled face down. The high court sent the case back down to the lower court to reconsider the claim of excessive force brought forward by the man’s parents. JUSTICE ALITO, GORSUCH, and THOMAS dissented.
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS NEXT|
Harper Neidig with The Hill notes the biggest question at the Supreme Court right now is whether JUSTICE STEPHEN BREYER will retire and give PRESIDENT BIDEN the chance to pick his replacement while Democrats control the Senate. “Those looking for signals from Breyer have little to look through. The justice has given few if any signs on his plans. Breyer’s most prominent opinion was writing for the 7-2 majority that rejected a Republican-led challenge against the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The moment was notable in part because CHIEF JUSTICE JOHN ROBERTS was also in the majority but assigned the opinion to Breyer, raising speculation among legal pundits over whether the chief wanted to honor his colleague at the end of his long career — or was enticing him to stick around.”
JUST AROUND THE RIVERBEND|
This term might be reaching its finale, but just wait for what the next term promises. It’s already shaping up to be a supremely consequential one (you might say), as justices have already agreed to take on cases about abortion access and gun rights. Mark Sherman and Jessica Gresko with The Associated Press report, “A closely watched voting rights dispute from Arizona is among five cases standing between the Supreme Court and its summer break. But even before the justices wrap up their work, likely later this week, they could say whether they’ll add more high-profile issues to what already promises to be a consequential term, beginning in October.”
The Supreme Court handed down a few important decisions on Friday. Robert Barnes with The Washington Post covered all three which involved justices siding with big oil companies, a credit reporting company, and Native Americans. In that third decision, the justices voted 6-3 that special organizations for Native Alaskans are eligible for federal COVID-19 relief funds even though they are not officially tribal governments.
COULD YOU GIVE US A LITTLE CREDIT HERE|
Nina Totenberg with NPR reports on the high court’s decision handed down on Friday in which SCOTUS sided with the TransUnion credit reporting company. Justices ruled by a 5-4 vote that thousands of consumers whose names were improperly flagged as potential terrorists cannot sue the company for damages. Totenberg: “The court ruled that Congress does not have the power under the Constitution to establish statutory rights and the power to enforce those rights with private lawsuits.”
TOO FAR FOR THOMAS|
“On Friday, the Supreme Court pulled off a heist decades in the making. In TransUnion v. Ramirez, five conservative justices seized Congress’ power to create new individual rights and protect victims by authorizing lawsuits when those rights are violated. Instead, the court awarded itself the power to decide which rights may be vindicated in federal court, overturning Congress’ own decisions about which harms deserve redress.” That’s Mark Joseph Stern with Slate reacting to the Supreme Court’s Friday decision and noting that JUSTICE KAVANAUGH’S opinion for the court in that case was too extreme even for JUSTICE THOMAS.
“Liberals, in contrast, will see the court’s decision as classic conservative judicial activism. The conservative justices announced a new interpretation of the Constitution in order to overturn a law that has been on the books for well over a generation. The fact that the conservative interpretation of the Constitution purports to protect private property fits perfectly with a familiar historical mode of conservative activism. Where liberals see permissible government regulation to help labor against capital, conservatives see infringement on the fundamental property rights of landowners.”POLITICO
“In a city like Philadelphia, the Supreme Court ruling likely won’t have much impact. There are countless other organizations, including reputable faith-based organizations, which will continue to certify LGBTQ+ families as foster parents. The question is, what happens in smaller communities — where the entire foster care system is dependent on one organization — if that organization chooses to discriminate? What could happen in rural America if the only organization serving the community chooses to discriminate as Catholic Social Services of Philadelphia has?”
“Following Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear’s executive order allowing college athletes to be compensated for the use of their name, image and likeness — known by its abbreviation ‘NIL’ — at least seven states will put into effect NIL laws, on Thursday. The laws allow athletes to make money for things like endorsement deals, signing autographs and social media content. That’s been prohibited under NCAA rules, but now, the organization is in the process of reforming those rules. Especially after the recent Supreme Court decision weakened the NCAA’s long held, but increasingly outdated, notion of amateurism in college sports.”CNN
“When Attorney General Merrick Garland appeared before cameras Friday to announce a lawsuit challenging Georgia’s new voting restrictions, it was the timing and the Justice Department’s strategy that intrigued voting rights experts. That’s because the lawsuit — triggering the latest dispute about the scope of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act — came as the Supreme Court is poised to release an opinion on the very same section of the law.”