The U.S. Supreme Court ended its 2021-2022 term on Thursday with several high-profile rulings. It marked the final rulings with Associate Justice Stephen Breyer on the bench. His successor, Ketanji Brown Jackson, was sworn in Thursday afternoon after these decisions came down.
Supreme Court limits EPA in curbing power plant emissions
In a blow to the fight against climate change, the Supreme Court has limited how the nation’s main anti-air pollution law can be used to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.
By a 6-3 vote Thursday, with conservatives in the majority, the court said that the Clean Air Act does not give the Environmental Protection Agency broad authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants that contribute to global warming. Instead, the EPA is limited to plant-by-plant regulation, the high court said.
The court’s ruling could complicate the administration’s plans to combat climate change.
Supreme Court to hear case on state authority over elections, gerrymandering
The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a North Carolina case that could dramatically change the way elections for Congress and the presidency are conducted. The case could ultimately hand more power to state legislatures and block state courts from reviewing challenges to the procedures and results.
The justices will consider whether state courts, finding violations of their state constitutions, can order changes to federal elections and the once-a-decade redrawing of congressional districts.
The case, an appeal from North Carolina Republicans, challenges a state court ruling throwing out the congressional districts drawn by the state’s General Assembly that made GOP candidates likely victors in 10 of the state’s 14 congressional districts.
Supreme Court says several gun cases deserve a new look
The Supreme Court says gun cases involving restrictions in Hawaii, California, New Jersey and Maryland deserve a new look following its major decision in a gun case last week.
The Supreme Court said Thursday lower courts should take another look at several cases that had been awaiting action by the high court. Those cases include ones about high-capacity magazines, an assault weapons ban and a state law that limits who can carry a gun outside the home.
The justices last week struck down a New York law that required people who wanted to carry a gun in public to show “proper cause,” a specific need to carry a gun.
High court rejects COVID-19 shot mandate case from New York
The Supreme Court has declined to take up a case involving a COVID-19 vaccine requirement for health care workers in New York that doesn’t offer an exemption for religious reasons.
The court’s action follows a decision in December in which the justices declined an emergency request to halt the requirement. At the time, doctors, nurses and other medical workers who said they were being forced to choose between their jobs and religious beliefs.
Three conservative justices — Neil Gorsuch, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito — dissented earlier and did so again Thursday.
New York is one of three states, along with Maine and Rhode Island, that don’t accommodate health care workers who object to the vaccine on religious grounds.
Travis Pittman contributed to this report.