With the release of five more decisions on Tuesday, June 21, the justices now have 13 cases left to release before they leave for their summer recess. Some of those as-yet-undecided cases are high-profile ones involving issues like abortion, gun rights, and religion, but the justices are also tackling important issues such as the “major questions” doctrine and whether the Biden administration must continue to enforce the “remain in Mexico” program.
The justices are scheduled to release opinions again on Thursday, June 23. Here are brief summaries of the 13 cases that have not yet been decided, but could be as soon as Thursday:
- New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen (argued Nov. 3) is a challenge to the constitutionality of a New York law that requires anyone who wants a license to carry a concealed handgun outside the home to show “proper cause” for the license. Courts in the state have defined “proper cause” to require applicants to show a special need to defend themselves, rather than a general need to protect oneself. As the only justices who have not yet written an opinion for November, Justices Clarence Thomas and Amy Coney Barrett are the most likely authors.
- Becerra v. Empire Health Foundation (argued Nov. 29) centers on how the Department of Health and Human Services calculates special Medicare payments to hospitals that serve a high percentage of low-income patients. And in particular, the case is a challenge to HHS’s interpretation of the phrases “entitled to” and “eligible for” to mean all patients who qualify for Medicare or Medicaid, even if those programs did not pay the patients’ hospital bills.
- Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization (argued Dec. 1): Whether Mississippi’s ban on abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy is constitutional and, if so, whether the justices will overturn their landmark decisions in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
- Concepcion v. United States (argued Jan. 19): Whether, when a court is deciding whether to resentence a defendant under the First Step Act, which gives federal district courts power to resentence offenders in light of changes in the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010, a district court must or may consider intervening developments, or whether such developments only come into play (if at all) after courts conclude that a sentence reduction is appropriate.
- West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency (argued Feb. 28): A challenge to the EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases. One question before the court is whether the Republican-led states and the coal companies have a legal right to bring the case to the Supreme Court at all when the lower court’s decision is on hold until the Biden EPA issues a new rule. If they do have that right, a second question before the justices is whether the lower court’s decision violates the “major questions” doctrine — the idea that if Congress wants to give an administrative agency the power to make “decisions of vast economic and political significance,” it must say so clearly.
- Ruan v. United States (argued Mar. 1): Whether a doctor who has the authority to prescribe controlled substances can be convicted for unlawful distribution of those drugs when he reasonably believed that his prescriptions fell within professional norms.
- Berger v. North Carolina Conference of the NAACP (argued Mar. 21): Whether a pair of Republican legislators in North Carolina can intervene to defend the state’s voter-ID law when the state’s Democratic attorney general is already defending the law.
- Torres v. Texas Department of Public Safety (argued Mar. 29): Whether Congress has the power to authorize suits against states, without their consent, under its constitutional war powers.
- Vega v. Tekoh (argued April 20): Whether a plaintiff can bring a federal civil-rights claim against a police officer based on the officer’s failure to provide a Miranda warning.
- Nance v. Ward (argued April 25): A case involving the procedures by which an inmate must raise his challenge to the method by which the state intends to execute him.
- Kennedy v. Bremerton School District (argued April 25): Whether a public school district violated the rights of a high school football coach when it restricted him from praying on the field after games.
- Biden v. Texas (argued April 26): Whether the Department of Homeland Security must continue to enforce the Migrant Protection Protocols, a policy begun by President Donald Trump that requires asylum seekers at the southern border to stay in Mexico while awaiting a hearing in U.S. immigration court.
- Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta (argued April 27): Whether a state has authority to prosecute defendants who are not Native Americans, but who commit crimes against Native Americans on land that Congress historically reserved for Native people.