Supreme Court Hands Down Major Opinions

Supreme Court Hands Down Major Opinions
  • The Supreme Court issued its final rulings of the 2019 term on July 9.
  • It was the first time the court has issued decisions in July since 1996. 
  • Justices split their decisions on Trump’s financial cases.
  • On the final day of the term, they handed a big win to Native Americans.

( – The final week of the Supreme Court of the US’ (SCOTUS) 2019 term was a doozy. The justices released opinions protecting the religious freedoms of millions of Americans. They also handed President Donald Trump both a win and a loss in cases to his financial records. Along with other rulings, it was one of the most exciting weeks for judicial rulings in recent history. Let’s take a look at some of the cases.

Trump v. Mazars

Only July 9, the justices ruled 7-2 that they would not force President Donald Trump to comply with Congressional subpoenas and hand over his financial documents right now. Instead, the high court sent the case back down to the lower courts to review questions dealing with the separation of powers.

The ruling means House committees headed by Democrats will not be able to carry out their investigations with all of the evidence.

Trump v. Vance

On the same day of the Mazars opinion, the justices ruled President Trump is not entitled to immunity from state criminal investigations while in office. In another 7-2 decision, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the court could not “conclude that absolute immunity is necessary or appropriate.”

Trump was not happy about the ruling and made it clear on Twitter.

The case now goes back to the lower court. If the president receives a grand jury subpoena, he’ll have to hand over his tax returns and other financial documents. That could mean the material would become public at some point.

McGirt v. Oklahoma

On July 9, the court also ruled in the McGirt v. Oklahoma case. The justices ruled, 5-4, that a large part of eastern Oklahoma, including Tulsa, belongs to the Muscogee (Creek) Nation for the purpose of criminal prosecution of major crimes.

According to the ruling, Oklahoma’s statehood did not terminate the tribe’s reservation because the “federal government promised the Creek a reservation in perpetuity.” Hundreds of criminal prosecutions could now be overturned as a result of the decision. Nevertheless, it was a big win for Native American rights.

Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru

On July 7, the justices ruled federal employment discrimination laws do not apply to religious schools. That means a private school can fire teachers for almost any reason that conflicts with their beliefs. It was a very big victory for religious freedom in the country.

Chiafalo v. Washington

The court ruled faithless electors could be fined by states. Check out our report earlier this week about the ruling.

Overall, the SCOTUS has dolled out some big decisions during this most recent session. The July 9 rulings marked the end of this year’s Supreme Court hearings. With all the chaos 2020 has brought, who knows what they’ll rule on next year.

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