It's that time of year again, when wonks' imaginations turn to thoughts of SCOTUS rulings. For this season, there have been some interesting decisions...Court decides not to hear "bathroom bill" case
, thereby allowing a lower-court ruling to stand. This allows students to use the bathroom of their gender identity, rather than their biological identity.Split-decision on Indiana abortion law
: The court upheld the portion that required that abortion remains be buried or cremated, but allowed the lower-court decision striking down the more onerous anti-abortion ruling to stand. Their decision was based on a procedural decision that the case needs to go through more appeals courts before being heard by the SCOTUS. It's odd that that decision doesn't also apply to the remains disposal portion of the law. I also have to wonder if the standard procedure of incinerating medical waste qualifies here as "cremation". The court temporarily blocks lower-court ruling requiring redistricting for Ohio and Michigan
: Since the court is already hearing two other redistricting cases (NC and MD), it seems they want to rule on all of them at the same time. A monopoly lawsuit against the Apple Store is allowed to move forward
: The court decided not to block the class-action lawsuit, which claims that Apple is a monopoly that prevents competition so that it can inflate prices. This ruling doesn't make any decisions about the claim; it only allows the case to proceed. I imagine the results of the case will end up being appealed all the way back up to the SCOTUS again.
And - in a very interesting lower-court ruling that will likely find its way to the SCOTUS at some point in the future, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled that Medicaid can be used to cover "sex reassignment" surgery
. This may make its way to the SCOTUS too, so keep an eye on this one. It's based on Iowa law, so don't expect this to become a national game-changer.
Finally - the rulings being handed down now are directly related to Mitch McConnell's refusal to consider Merrick Garland as President Obama's last SCOTUS appointee back in 2016 because of the pending election. As a result, we ended up with an accused rapist and party boy on the court. What if someone dies or resigns in 2020, yet another election year? You don't even have to guess what McConnell's decision would be