Supreme Court Preview: States at the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court’s October Term 2013 already promises to be a big one for states even though the Court has thirty or so more cases to accept.  Here is a highlight of a few of the cases the Court has agreed to hear so far affecting state government.

In Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action the Court will decide whether a state constitutional amendment banning affirmative action by public universities violates the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause. 

Town of Greece v. Galloway involves the constitutionality of legislative prayer.  The lower court held that   a town board’s practice of beginning board meetings with a prayer violates the Establishment Clause because Christians almost always led the prayers. 

A Massachusetts statute creates a 35-foot “buffer zone” around reproductive healthcare facilities into which demonstrators are not allowed to enter.  In McCullen v. Coalkey the constitutionality of this statute is challenged.  Two other states have adopted similar state laws. 

Environmental Protection Agency v. EME Homer City Generation involves the scope of the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to regulate states contributing to air pollution in other states downwind.  

The State and Local Legal Center (SLLC) will file an amicus curiae brief in McCullen v. Coalkey.  For more information about these cases read the SLLC’s article Supreme Court Term Preview:  States and the Supreme Court.