Earlier today, PFAW hosted a telebriefing for our members on the upcoming Supreme Court term, featuring two of the nation’s most respected progressive experts on the Court: Dahlia Lithwick, a senior editor at Slate magazine, writes “Supreme Court Dispatches” and covers other legal issues for the magazine. Jamie Raskin is a professor of constitutional law at American University Washington College of Law, founder of its acclaimed Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project, a Maryland state senator, and a senior fellow at People For the American Way.
You can listen to a full recording of the call here:
Raskin and Lithwick discussed the ominous turn that our law seems poised to take over the next few months at the hands of the Roberts Court. They talked about the cases where the far right Justices appear ready to remove key campaign contribution limits (McCutcheon v. FEC), weaken women’s ability to exercise their reproductive rights (Cline v. Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice and McCullen v. Coakley), undermine church-state separation (Town of Greece v. Galloway), make it far easier to engage in housing discrimination (Mount Holly v. Mt. Holly Gardens Citizens in Action), and decimate workers’ ability to form unions (Unite Here Local 355 v. Mulhall). Raskin and Lithwick answered questions from PFAW members and noted a common theme of many of these cases: erasing the moderate-conservative legacy of Sandra Day O’Connor by overruling precedents she was involved with.
They also discussed a case that has not made it to the Court yet but likely will: the Hobby Lobby case challenging the contraception coverage provisions of the Affordable Care Act. A lower court struck them down, ruling that corporations have religious liberty rights under the First Amendment just like they have free speech rights under the First Amendment (see Citizens United).
For more information about the cases discussed by Lithwick and Raskin, check out our affiliate PFAW Foundation’s report on the Key Cases In The Supreme Court’s New Term.