The Supreme Court term will likely end next week, but there are still more than a dozen cases awaiting a ruling. Among those are several potentially major decisions on issues like the contraceptive mandate, free speech, and presidential recess appointments. Thursday is the next decision release day, leaving just a few more days in June for the court to unload its large pile of remaining opinions. Or, in rare cases, postponing a case until next term.
In all, the court has yet to issue decisions on 13 cases, or 14 if you count two cases that both dealing with warrantless cell phone searches separately. (Update: we will continue to update this post as decisions come in; currently, the court is scheduled to release additional opinions on Wednesday, June 25 and Thursday, June 26. There is a possibility that there will be even more opinions on June 30, the last day of the month)
So the end of term crunch is going to be a busy one. Here a rundown of the remaining cases, and what's at stake in each one.
The Big Ones
Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores & Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp v. Sebelius. These two cases, considered together, challenge the health care reform law's contraceptive mandate. There are two broad questions at issue here: whether private businesses have the right to exercise their freedom of religion either under the Constitution or the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and if so, whether the contraceptive mandate violates that religious freedom. Those are both big questions with implications for the more than 40 other challenges to the contraceptive mandate working their way through the courts. However, as we noted in our recap of the oral arguments, the court could end up issuing a much narrower ruling. Justice Ginsburg has said that the Hobby Lobby decision will be one of the last released by the court this month.