As we close out the first half of the calendar year, the SCOTUS has had an incredibly interesting year in 2022. With every ruling, they have upset someone, and the left is quite often a target for that frustration. It’s not intentional either. Their rulings have been monumental (as they should be), and they just so happen to usually hit a soft spot for them. With only four cases left on the calendar for the year, each of these can have far-reaching implications.
Immigration and the “Remain in Mexico” policy is one of the more impactful cases they have yet to finalize. This policy came out of President Trump’s administration, this has been a rather controversial policy. Under this policy, certain non-Mexicans can be ordered back to Mexico to await the ruling on their immigration proceedings.
Coming out in 2019, the policy was ruffling feathers from the start. The lack of deportation or allowing them to wait here in the US frustrated many members of the left, who claimed that it exposed asylum seekers and that it was inhumane. With the poor conditions in the areas where they would wait in Mexico, there aren’t great conditions for health, food, safety, or shelter. Lower courts have blocked Biden from putting an end to this policy, so now the SCOTUS gets to rule.
These justices will also make decisions about the EPA and its authority to make regulations for outside entities. At hand specifically are the emissions from power plants. These carbon emissions can be incredibly heavy for the environment. Newer plants are being engineered with this in mind, and are developing ones with fewer emissions, but the EPA is trying to rule on existing plants too.
Lower courts overruled a policy already in place from President Trump in 2021, and President Biden’s administration has their EPA writing one currently. This left no plan in place, and currently, environmentalists are incredibly concerned because they feel this lack of ruling is leaving the environment open to further harm. Many are looking to the SCOTUS to put limitations on the EPA, as they have a reputation of being rather rogue.
Ruling about rights on Native American lands is another rough case for the SCOTUS. While any time we have leaders discussing the rights of Native Americans in the country can become a very hot issue, this case is especially impactful for them. Victor Manuel Castro-Huerta is a non-native and was initially convicted of child abuse against his stepdaughter. This young lady is a member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.
Previously the state courts wiped away his conviction because the crime occurred in Indian country, and per their laws, the state lacked jurisdiction. Now, they will decide if the state is allowed to prosecute non-natives for actions that occur on the Native’s lands. In 2020 Justice Neil Gorsuch penned an opinion that was supported by other liberal court members. He determined that Oklahoma had no jurisdiction over a Native who committed a crime in Indian country.
Lastly, they will be ruling on a Veteran’s case before the year is out. In this case, Le Roy Torres is a Veteran and a former member of the Texas Department of Safety. Through a service-related disability, he could no longer serve as a state trooper. He sought accommodations to be able to remain on the job in a capacity that would account for his disability. When he appealed, he used Federal law that is in place to protect returning Veterans and their jobs.
Texas claimed that they were immune from the suit under state’s rights. Now the rights of Congress to exercise war powers, and a state’s rights to decide when they can be sued are at odds. The fact that Texas or any state thinks they get to choose when they can be sued is already ridiculous enough, but to do this to a Veteran?