SCOTUS Begins Contentious Fall Term


Jordan Sekulow

October 4, 2021

4 min read

Supreme Court



It’s the first day of the Supreme Court’s contentious fall term. There are three major cases that we have our eye on here at the ACLJ.  The highly partisan issues among these cases include the Second Amendment, religious liberty, and abortion. These cases have everyone on their toes because of the new make-up of the court being a 6-3 conservative majority.

The first case, out of New York, is over the Second Amendment, regarding whether you should have to show “proper cause” in order to obtain a concealed carry permit. This gives power to licensing officials instead of regular citizens. We filed an amicus brief in this case to ensure that we help to protect our right to keep and bear arms outside the home.

ACLJ Senior Military Analyst Wes Smith discussed the Second Amendment:

You can’t really look at any of the Amendments of our Constitution, our Bill of Rights, and say well they only apply to you if you’re special in some way or have to show proper cause as to why you have protections under the Amendment to the Constitution. That is really what this New York law is saying, that in order for the Second Amendment apply to you. it doesn’t apply; because you’re an American, because we have a Constitution, but only if you can show the proper cause of why you need it. . . . With a conservative Court, I feel pretty hopeful they will say no, you don’t have to show a special reason, some special status in your life, or some special threat in order to have rights as an American citizen under the Constitution.

The next monumental case is one we have been waiting for. The case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health is over Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban that would directly challenge the landmark decision that legalized abortions throughout the United States in 1973 – Roe v. Wade. We’ve already filed three amicus briefs in this case.

ACLJ Director of Government Affairs Thann Bennett explained what Mississippi is asking for in this case:

In the Dobbs case, it was interesting when the various sides were filing their briefs in the case. Planned Parenthood . . . said, well, you can’t side with Mississippi on this because that would . . . challenge the actual merits of Roe and Casey; surely that can’t be what Mississippi is asking for. Mississippi came back on top and said you got it exactly right. We think Roe and Casey were wrongly decided. . . . We think the fundamentals of Roe and Casey should go.

Next, a school choice case in Maine currently does not allow for state resources to be given to religious schools. The resources go to other private schools, which caused parental concern that the state was infringing on their religious liberty rights. We’ve also filed an amicus brief in this case.

ACLJ Director of Policy Harry Hutchison discussed this case:

A group of us are working on a religious treatise which looks at this specific case. Why? Because this case arguably goes counter to prevailing U.S. precedent. One wonders why the First Circuit Court of Appeals actually upheld the particular Maine statute which is that issue. At the end of the day, the right to send your kid to school on a nondiscriminatory basis is arguably a right that the Supreme Court has already upheld. At the end of the day, it is highly doubtful that this main statutory provision which prevents families from sending their kids to sectarian school will be upheld.

To take a step back from our domestic issues and putting our international lenses on, ACLJ Senior Advisor for National Security and former Acting Director of National Intelligence Ric Grenell discussed the recent Chinese aggression towards Taiwan:

I don’t think it is just about China and Taiwan but I think it is about America. . . . The weakness of the Joe Biden Administration is causing chaos in the world. We see it in Afghanistan, in Russia . . . ; it’s all over, every part of the world. Now we are really seeing it unfold in the Pacific where the Chinese are beginning to do things that they would’ve never thought to do during the Trump Administration. While there are a lot of people that can complain about . . . things they didn’t like in the Trump Administration, you really have to look at the dangerous precedent by a weak President Biden.

This is a very serious issue as it could spark World War III if we are not careful. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates.

Today’s full Sekulow broadcast is complete with even more analysis of the major Supreme Court cases and China’s military aggression towards Taiwan.

Watch the full broadcast below.