As the Supreme Court begins its 2021-2022 term, it is doing so with a look back at many of the controversial rulings during its previous terms. From judicial opinions on abortion, religious liberty, and LGBTQ rights to landmark decisions in voting rights and presidential powers, these cases have the potential to shape the 2024 elections. As Court watchers await decisions on issues from election to abortion, this year may prove to be decisive in terms of how Americans view the Supreme Court – and the presidential ballots cast in three years’ time.
One of the most contentious disagreements on the Court is over its interpretation of the First and Second Amendments. The Court lately has struck down a number of gun control measures as exceeding the scope of the Second Amendment, including a Philadelphia ordinance that prohibited assault weapons. Similarly, the Court struck down a Louisiana abortion law as infringing on the right to abortion access. And the Supreme Court’s upcoming decision on the Little Sisters of the Poor case could further solidify how far religious liberty is protected.
The Court has also taken up matters of voting rights, election reform, and presidential power. After two decisions involving controversial subpoena efforts targeting President Donald Trump at the end of the last term, the Court will likely announce decisions during this term on challenges to state election restrictions. Those elections touch many aspects of the voting process, including voter ID laws, voter registration deadlines, and mail-in voting. Such rulings could have a significant impact on the makeup of the electorate in the 2024 election.
Finally, the Supreme Court could decide several other high-profile cases this year that could directly impact the outcome of the 2024 elections. One of those is a case concerning the constitutionality of the landmark 2010 health care law, the Affordable Care Act (ACA). A ruling to overturn the ACA could have dire implications for millions of Americans, as well as the national economy. Depending on how the Supreme Court rules, and how politicians address the implications, it could have a major impact on which party prevails in the 2024 presidential race.
The Supreme Court’s upcoming term may provide the most consequential decisions of the 21st century — decisions that could shape the landscape of the 2024 election and beyond. Court watchers will be looking to its rulings not just for their immediate implications, but also for their potential to reverberate over several election cycles. With so much potentially riding on the decisions of the nine justices, the 2021-2022 term promises to be one of the most important in recent history.