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Noon Edition

SCOTUS's June Decisions To Include Significant Rulings On Civil Rights


(Lauren Chapman, IPBS News)

Noon Edition airs on Fridays at noon on WFIU.

The U.S. Supreme Court is set for a big month, ruling on significant cases covering voting rights, healthcare, school speech, and more. And this week on Noon Edition, we’ll talk with legal and civil rights experts about how to follow these decisions in the coming weeks and what significance they’ll hold.

Here are the cases we’ll be looking at Friday:

Fulton v. City of Philadelphia- This case was argued before the Court in November. In 2018, the City of Philadelphia learned that two Christian adoption service agencies were refusing to work with same-sex couples. The City said the agencies were in violation of nondiscrimination policies, and refused to renew contracts with them. One agency, Catholic Social Services, sued, claiming its First Amendment rights were being infringed. 

California v. Texas and Texas v. California- The case was heard by the highest court in November. GOP-led states are arguing that the Affordable Care Act can’t be upheld since Congress cut the law’s penalty for not obtaining health coverage in 2017. The ACA was ruled constitutional by the Court in 2012 because it fell under Congress’s authority to tax. Now that no penalty exists for not having coverage, the GOP is arguing that the rest of the law should fall, too.

Brnovich v. DNC and Arizona Republican Party v. DNC- The Court heard the oral argument for the case in March. The Brennan Center for Justice says the case looks at a challenge to two Arizona voting laws– one that requires ballots cast outside of a precinct to be discarded, and one that bars anyone but a voter’s family member or caregiver from turning in an early ballot for another person. The policies are being challenged under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. A lower court upheld that the polices disproportionately prevented Native American, Latino, and Black Voters from voting. The Brennan Center for Justice says Section 2 of the VRA has taken on new significance since Section 5 of the law was gutted by a previous SCOTUS ruling in 2013.

Mahanoy Area School District v. B.L.- The oral argument for this case was made in April. The justices will decide how much say public schools have in students’ off-campus speech. A Pennsylvania student, Brandi Levy, made an off-campus Snapchat video using profane language expressing disappointment at not making the varsity cheer team. Her school then suspended her from the junior varsity team. Lower courts have so far ruled in Levy’s favor, saying she did not disrupt school.

We’ll also be looking ahead to October, when the Court will reconvene to decide on landmark cases and we will talk about the unprecedented retirement pressure Justice Stephen G. Beyer faces.

You can follow us on Twitter @NoonEdition or join us on the air by calling in at 812-855-0811 or toll-free at 1-877-285-9348. You can also send us questions for the show at

Note: This week of our guests and hosts will participate remotely to avoid risk of spreading infection. 


Stevie Pactor, Indiana ACLU attorney

Steve Sanders, IU Maurer School of Law Professor

Margaret Russell, associate professor of constitutional law, Santa Clara University

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