According to ABC News, the United States Supreme Court started its new term on Monday and began hearing arguments for the first time in months.
The nation’s highest judicial body is set to decide a slew of cases, some of which could result in major changes for America.
One of them is Merrill v. Milligan, an Alabama case in which challengers say the state’s congressional map is in violation of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. revolves around Section 2 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
Only one of the state’s seven congressional districts are majority black despite African Americans comprising 27% of Alabama’s total population, an arrangement critics say is illegal.
They point to Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, which bars “voting practices or procedures that discriminate on the basis of race, color, or membership in one of the language minority groups.”
While a district court ruled in January that the map needed to be withdrawn, the Supreme Court said that Alabama could proceed with this year’s election using the current map while it is deciding the issue.
“When an election is close at hand, the rules of the road must be clear and settled,” The New York Times quoted Justice Brett Kavanaugh as writing in February.
“Late judicial tinkering with election laws can lead to disruption and to unanticipated and unfair consequences for candidates, political parties and voters, among others,” he added.
Other cases concern affirmative action, anti-discrimination laws, and adoption
Another case is Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard and Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina, and it revolves around whether colleges may use race as a factor when deciding which students to admit.
The Court will also hear arguments in Creative v. Elenis, which concerns Colorado graphic and website designer Lorie Smith.
Smith, who is supported by the conservative Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), wishes to offer wedding website services but refuses to facilitate gay marriages. As ADF explains on its website, this puts her in conflict with a state anti-discrimination law.
ABC News noted how other controversial cases will revolve around the adoption of Native American children, immigration, and the use of copyrighted material by artists.