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The Top Three Supreme Court Cases to be Watching this Fall

The Supreme Court returned to the bench Monday, October 2nd with a new face and a new calendar of cases. The judges will hear oral arguments for about 30 cases until the December recess. Because the Supreme Court only hears the most important cases of the year, it can be very difficult to know which ones you should pay attention to. Here is a list of cases to tune into this fall season.

Trump v. International Refugee Assistance Project is one of the major cases the Court must make a decision on.  It involves President Trump’s controversial executive orders. According to oyez.com, his first executive order No.13,769 was signed in January 2017 but was suspended after it was brought to court. After revisions, Trump signed executive order No.13,780, which had the slight changes. Trump kept 6 out of the 7 countries on the original list (exempting Iraq), suspended refugee application and entrances for 120 days, and also capped the number of refugees at 50,000 for the 2017 fiscal year. The Justices are faced with many questions about the constitutionality of the order, but the major concern of the case is whether or not the ban violates the establishment clause of the first amendment. This is an important decision, for if deemed constitutional it may have a major effect on those traveling from the target nations, as well as a dangerous precedent.

Another case that puts important questions on the forefront of the Supreme Court is Masterpiece Cake Shop v. Colorado. The plaintiffs, Charlie Craig and David Mullins, filed an action with the Colorado Civil Rights Organization after being discriminated against for their sexual orientation. According to oyez.com, Jack Phillips is the owner of a cake shop in Lakewood Colorado, and states that he demonstrates his love for God through his cake designs. Therefore being forced to make a cake for the plaintiffs would be forcing him to violate his religion.  The Supreme Court will examine if Colorado’s public accommodation law that requires Phillips to make the cake violates the Freedom of Speech, and Freedom of Religion.  

Lastly, Evans v. Georgia regional will set a major precedent for those discriminated against for sexual orientation. According to Tameka Evans’ (plaintiff) representative, Lambda legal, she is suing for violation of Title 7. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 includes Title 7, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, and religion. Evan claims that she was forced out of her security guard job because she is a lesbian. According to the lambda legal team, she is filing under title 7 and claiming that discrimination by sexual orientation is discrimination by gender. Therefore the Supreme Court will be deciding if Title 7 includes sexual orientation.

It is a new term, a new justice, and a new set of cases. Make sure to stay tuned to watch history be written!

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