The Supreme Court is set to make decisions on key cases as it wraps up the summer session this week. According to The Hill, the decisions expected this week include those from cases concerning student debt relief, affirmative action, and same-sex wedding websites. The court will also consider which cases they will take for the next term which could include those on guns, racial discrimination, and qualified immunity.
The decision involving student debt relief will review President Biden’s plan to forgive $10,000-$20,000 of student loan debt for more than 40 million borrowers. With two lawsuits challenging Biden’s plan, Biden v. Nebraska and Department of Education v. Brown, the Supreme Court’s decision will determine whether or not debt forgiveness would move forward. The conservative majority voiced their doubt that the Biden administration has the power to cancel the debts, but it must be proven that those who filed the lawsuit had a legal standing to do so while arguments for both sides are reviewed.
Affirmative action cases, Students for Fair Admissions v. President and Fellows of Harvard College and Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina, are also expected to conclude this week. The cases refer back to the 2003 decision in Grutter v. Bollinger in which the Supreme Court upheld affirmative action in college admissions. The justices are now considering whether to overturn Grutter and the affirmative action programs in higher education that it brought. During oral arguments, the conservative majority “appeared skeptical of upholding race-conscious college admissions.”
A case from Colorado, 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis, involves web designer Lorie Smith, an evangelical Christian, who is challenging the state’s public accommodation law that prohibits businesses serving the public from discriminating based on sexual orientation. Smith wants to create wedding websites, but Colorado’s law would require her to create websites for same-sex weddings despite her opposition to gay marriage. The justices will decide if the public accommodation laws violate the First Amendment by “compelling their speech,” and the conservative majority appears to have leaned towards supporting Smith in oral arguments.
Other cases pending include those involving the Civil Rights Act of 1964, federal election laws, and trademark infringement. The Supreme Court is expected to announce their decisions on Tuesday as the summer session comes to a close.