Now that Justice Neil Gorsuch has been sworn in and will sit on the Supreme Court (thanks to the nuclear option), it's time to take a look at some key possible cases he could give a ruling on. The court, which previously had five conservative justices and five liberal ones, is now swayed in favor of conservatives. In the court's hands rest many cases, including the six ahead that could alter the country's discourse on gun, state, and other rights.
Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Comer
This case, which will be argued on April 19, states that Missouri violated the first amendment. How? The church was not given funds for a playground because that state's own constitution doesn't let funds go to religious groups. So, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, headed by Carol S. Comer, denied the request. The church is arguing that it violates Free Exercise and Equal Protection Clauses.
Bank of America Corp. v. City of Miami
In an effort to protect blacks and Hispanics, the City of Miami is arguing for the right to sue banks that use "discriminatory lending practices." The argument already happened on Nov. 8, 2016.
Hernández v. Mesa
On June 7, 2010, 15-year-old Sergio Hernández, a Mexican citizen on the Mexican side of the border, was shot dead by a US border patrol agent. The family of Hernández is arguing for the right to sue the border patrol agent based on a previous case, Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. The family contends that Hernández's fourth amendment rights were violated. This case was argued on Feb. 21.
Weaver v. Massachusetts
When Kentel Weaver was convicted of murder, two key mistakes occurred in his trial. The first is that a court official didn't let anyone who wasn't part of the court to watch the trial - denying Weaver the right of a public trial. The second mistake is on his lawyer, who didn't object the ruling. Weaver asked for a new trial due to these mistakes (called structural constitutional errors) but was denied on the basis that he couldn't prove these two errors actually affected the outcome of his trial. This case is questioning whether it's up to a defendant to prove this outcome. The American Civil Liberties Union is arguing that asking someone to prove this would "disproportionately hurt poor people who are more likely to be represented by constitutionally deficient lawyers." The Supreme Court will hear arguments on April 19.
Davila v. Davis
This case, which will be heard on April 24, argues that a prisoner should have the right to claim that he had bad counseling, even if it's the appellate lawyer (the lawyer that argues an appeal) and didn't happen in state court.
Maslenjak v. US
Divna Maslenjack, an ethnic Serb from Bosnia, lied about how she came to the US and thus, her US citizenship was revoked. This case will rule whether a "naturalized American citizen can be stripped of her citizenship in a criminal proceeding" for lying. This is the last case the Supreme Court will hear this term, and it'll occur on April 26.