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The Supreme Court made big decisions this week and more are coming. Here’s what you need to know

by Lucas Garcia
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Supreme Court decisions

Important Decisions by the Supreme Court and Upcoming Rulings

The Supreme Court is set to deliver significant rulings this week, with more to follow. Here is a summary of the key information you need to know:

Student Loans:

The fate of President Joe Biden’s proposal to alleviate or reduce student loan debt for millions of Americans is still undecided. While initial indications suggested the plan might not survive, there remains a possibility that the court could determine the challengers lacked the standing to sue, allowing the program to proceed. Biden’s plan includes erasing $10,000 in federal student loan debt for individuals earning below $125,000 per year or households with incomes below $250,000. Additionally, he sought to cancel an extra $10,000 for those who received federal Pell Grants. Despite the court’s ruling, loan payments, which have been on hold since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, will resume this summer.

Gay Rights:

The court is yet to decide on a case involving the clash between gay rights and religious rights. The case revolves around a Christian graphic artist from Colorado who objects to creating wedding websites for same-sex couples. The artist, Lorie Smith, argues that the state law mandating equal service provision violates her freedom of speech. Her opponents contend that a ruling in her favor would enable discrimination against various groups, including Black, Jewish, or Muslim customers, interracial or interfaith couples, and immigrants. During the case’s arguments, the conservative majority on the court expressed sympathy for Smith’s position, and religious plaintiffs have experienced successes at the Supreme Court in recent years.

Affirmative Action:

In a significant decision, the court invalidated affirmative action in college admissions, ruling that race cannot be a factor. This ruling compels institutions of higher education to explore new methods for achieving diversity in their student bodies. Prior to this decision, the Supreme Court had upheld the use of race in admissions, but the current conservative majority overturned admissions plans at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina. Chief Justice John Roberts emphasized that an individual’s identity should not solely rest on the color of their skin but rather on challenges overcome, skills acquired, and lessons learned.

Religious Rights:

The court reinforced protections for workers seeking religious accommodations through a unanimous decision involving a Christian mail carrier who wished to refrain from working on Sundays. The ruling establishes that employers must grant accommodations unless they can demonstrate that doing so would result in substantial increased costs. The court clarified that businesses cannot rely on minor costs to deny religious accommodations. While the court did not rule directly on the mail carrier’s case, they remanded it to lower courts for further review based on their decision.

Voting:

The court upheld the authority of state courts to check their legislatures in matters concerning redistricting and federal elections. This decision rejected arguments by North Carolina Republicans that could have had significant implications for contests at the congressional and presidential levels. The justices affirmed that state courts can apply state constitutional constraints when legislatures act under the Elections Clause, while emphasizing the need for federal courts to exercise judicial review.

For the latest updates on the U.S. Supreme Court, you can follow the AP’s coverage at https://bigbignews.net/us-supreme-court.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Supreme Court decisions

Q: What were the major decisions made by the Supreme Court this week?

A: The Supreme Court made significant decisions on various topics including student loans, gay rights, affirmative action, religious rights, and voting.

Q: Is President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness program still in question?

A: Yes, the fate of President Biden’s plan to alleviate or reduce student loan debt is still undecided. The court heard arguments in the case, and the decision is pending.

Q: What does the clash between gay rights and religious rights involve?

A: The Supreme Court is yet to decide on a case involving a Christian graphic artist who objects to creating wedding websites for same-sex couples. The case revolves around the conflict between equal service provision and freedom of speech.

Q: Has the Supreme Court made any rulings on affirmative action?

A: Yes, the Supreme Court recently invalidated the use of race as a factor in college admissions, requiring institutions to explore alternative methods to achieve diversity in their student bodies.

Q: How did the Supreme Court reinforce religious rights?

A: The court solidified protections for workers seeking religious accommodations, emphasizing that businesses must grant these accommodations unless they result in substantial increased costs.

Q: What ruling did the Supreme Court make regarding voting and redistricting?

A: The court upheld the authority of state courts to act as a check on their legislatures in matters related to redistricting and federal elections. This decision has implications for ensuring fair electoral processes.

Q: Where can I find more information about the U.S. Supreme Court?

A: For further updates and coverage of the U.S. Supreme Court, you can visit the AP’s website dedicated to Supreme Court news at https://bigbignews.net/us-supreme-court.

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