By Amy Howe
Sep 20, 2021
at 3:34 p.m.
The December court hearing schedule, released on Monday, contains a high-profile abortion case. (Erik Cox Photography via Shutterstock)
The Supreme Court announced Monday that he will hear arguments Dec. 1 in a challenge to a Mississippi law that bans nearly all abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy.
The case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, was already positioned to be one of the most publicized arguments of the 2021-2022 mandate, as the state had specifically asked the court to overturn its historic decisions in Roe vs. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, believing that the Constitution protects the right to abort before the fetus can survive outside the womb. But the spotlight on the case became even more intense earlier this month, when the Supreme Court dismissed a request to block the application of a Texas law that bans abortions after the sixth week of pregnancy.
The court was deeply divided over the Texas case, with the Conservative majority acknowledging that the challengers had “raised serious questions about the constitutionality of Texas law.” But the majority, despite Chief Justice John Roberts and the court’s three liberal justices dissenting, has nonetheless allowed the Texas law to come into force as litigation challenging its constitutionality continues in lower courts.
The announcement of the Dec. 1 pleading date in the Mississippi case was part of the Supreme Court’s release of its December pleading schedule. A week after the Mississippi case, on Dec. 8, judges will hear arguments in one of the mandate’s other major cases, involving the public funding of private schools providing religious education. Carson vs. Makin involves a Maine Tuition Assistance Program that provides money for students to attend private schools. Two groups of parents were excluded from the program because families wanted to use the money in Christian schools which would use the funds for religious education. In 2020, the Supreme Court ruled that states that choose to subsidize private education cannot exclude religious schools from receiving money simply because they are religious. Parents in Maine are urging judges to rule that there is no reason to distinguish between whether a school is religious and whether it uses funds for religious purposes.
The tribunal announced on September 8 that he would return to the courtroom – for the first time since March 2020 – for oral argument in the fall. The oral argument will not be open to the public, but some members of the press may attend and live audio will be available.
Here is a full list of business scheduled for debate in the December session, which begins Monday, November 29:
Becerra v. Empire Health Foundation (November 29): A dispute over how to calculate additional payments under the federal Medicare program for hospitals with large numbers of low-income patients.
Cummings v. First Rehab (November 30): Do federal disability laws allow Jane Cummings, born deaf and legally blind, to recover emotional distress damages from a company that provides physiotherapy services and receives funding federal.
American Hospital Association v. Becerra (November 30): A challenge to a Department of Health and Human Services rule that cuts Medicare reimbursement rates for prescription drugs for hospitals participating in a program for underserved communities.
Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization (December 1): A challenge to a Mississippi law that prohibits most abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy.
Patel vs. Garland (December 6): Did the appeals court have the power to review a finding by the Immigration Appeals Board that Pankajkumar Patel should be deported for falsely declaring he was a U.S. citizen when he applied for the renewal of his driving license?
Hughes v. Northwestern University (December 6): Are allegations that a pension plan was charging excessive fees when cheaper options existed sufficient to bring a lawsuit alleging that the administrators of the plan violated their obligation under the Employees Retirement Income Security Act To Make Prudent Decisions? (Judge Amy Coney Barrett is recused from this case.)
CVS Pharmacy v. Doe (December 7): The Rehabilitation Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by any federally funded program or activity, and the Affordable Care Act allow complainants to file complaints alleging a policy or a practice disproportionately affects people with disabilities.
United States v. Taylor (December 7): Does the Hobbs Act robbery attempt constitute a “crime of violence” for the purposes of a federal law that imposes a mandatory minimum sentence of five years for the use of a gun during a violent crime.
Carson vs. Makin (Dec 8): Does Maine violate the Constitution when it provides families with money to attend private schools, but bans them from attending schools providing religious education.
This article was originally published by Howe on the Court.