The most important and prominent case that the US Supreme Court will hear in the upcoming 2021-2022 term, which begins in October, is Roe v Wade. The importance of women’s health organization Dobbs against Jackson cannot be overestimated, as this case has the potential to fundamentally rewrite the country’s law regarding abortion.
Aside from Dobbs, which I am examining here, there are several other important cases to be observed.
In CVS Pharmacy, Inc. v. Doe are suing HIV AIDS patients at CVS pharmacies for providing them with HIV drugs. The problem with this is that CVS refuses to sell their drugs at their community locations, forcing patients to only get their drugs through mail order or through specialist CVS locations. The court will determine whether CVS is violating the disability portions of the Affordable Care Act.
In Gallardo v. Marstiller was hit by a truck in 2008, when a 13-year-old was living in Florida. After Florida’s Medicaid program paid over $ 862,000 for their care, they complied with the family for $ 300,000 of the settlement won. The court must determine whether Medicaid law allows states to seek reimbursement from court settlements.
Barring cases where the court has already given its approval, as it is still early days, they are expected to agree to hear more. One case that was recently ruled at the state court level that may be of interest to the Supreme Court concerns Washington State’s restricted admission.
Its technical name is Limited License Legal Technician, and the Washington Supreme Court decided in 2020 to “suspend” the program that allowed non-attorneys to perform some legal duties. While the program officially ends on the last day of July, there has been talk on the legal streets of at least one strong challenge ahead for ending the program.
The reason the court may be interested in the correct case dealing with the LLLT is because terminating the program will tighten scrutiny over the legal profession, in an environment where fundamental industry issues such as ownership of property rights are re-emerging to be checked only lawyers law firm.
There is another case that is not yet a case, but could very well become one very quickly. This month’s Texas Special Legislation will address several important issues, one of which is anti-abortion legislation. What makes the legislation unique, and potentially perfect for review by the country’s highest court, is how bizarre its enforcement mechanism is.
Texas law is one of about 100 new restrictive abortion laws that are going into effect across the country. What makes Texas law unique is the fact that this heartbeat law is not enforced by the state, but can be enforced by anyone.
That’s right everyone. If you envision roving gangs of anti-abortion activists visiting clinics and providers to stop abortions that violate Texas Heartbeat Law (or abortions at all), you are probably on the right track. While this subject is far too early to be reviewed by the Supreme Court right now, one would imagine that with the right plaintiff and a set of facts about enforcing Heartbeat Law in Texas, this could go to court relatively quickly.
Civil rights attorney Adriana Gonzalez points out that any abortion law that essentially calls on activists to enforce it has the potential for disaster;
“While each of these state abortion ‘heartbeat laws’ has its own set of difficulties, any heartbeat law that the state allows and encourages the general public to enforce is an initiation to violence.”
One last thing to see between now and October is what Judge Stephen Breyer will do. There is a general expectation that he will soon resign, and the fact that he has not yet made his decision makes many ideological or left-of-center people quite concerned. The longer Breyer waits to announce his resignation, the lower the percentage chance that President Joe Biden can nominate an ideologically oriented successor.
In a court that has previously been remarkably unpredictable but actually has a Conservative majority of 6-3, any risk of losing one of those three Liberal seats is a risk that no Liberal president or lawyer should take lightly.