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Three Landmark Decisions Made by the Supreme Court: Part 2

In today's follow-up blog to a piece we wrote earlier this month, we're recapping two recent rulings on LGTBQ+ workers' rights and abortion. We're also covering a recent ruling on the Trump administration's efforts to end DACA.

Finally, we'll explore how these three rulings may affect legal precedent in the US in the future. The Supreme Court's decisions often have a sweeping effect on the legal system as a whole, so analyzing current rulings can help you understand the legal direction of the US as a whole.

Recapping Part One: Recent Supreme Court Rulings on LGBTQ+ Rights for Workers and Abortion Legislation

In our first blog in this series, we covered two significant rulings by the Supreme Court on LGBTQ+ workers' rights and abortion legislation.

The Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that Title VII Civil Rights Act worker protections extended to LGBTQ+ employees, affording them the same rights and protections against discrimination as other minority workers.

Additionally, the Supreme Court ruled against legislation restricting access to abortion in Louisiana, citing precedent set in similar previous abortion cases.

With that covered, let's move on to another recent ruling by the Court.

The Supreme Court Rules Against the Trump Administration's Efforts to Rescind DACA

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) works in conjunction with the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act to provide opportunities for children of illegal immigrants (often called DREAMers). Under DACA and the DREAM Act, DREAMers can work and live in the US for renewable two-year periods. Since his election in 2016, US President Donald J. Trump has indicated his desire to rescind DACA protections for DREAMers.

On June 19th, 2020, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to reject the Trump administration's attempts to rescind DACA. Chief Justice John Roberts once again sided with the Court's four liberal justices in the ruling.

What Do These Rulings Mean for the Future of the US?

Precedent was the defining factor in all three decisions made by the Supreme Court.

The Court is currently split 5-4 between conservative and liberal justice, respectively. However, in all three of these landmark rulings, conservative Chief Justice John Roberts voted with the liberal justices, citing precedent as his justification.

Chief Justice Roberts also focused on the Trump administration's lack of a legally defensible position when ruling on the DACA case, calling the administration's efforts to end the program "arbitrary and capricious." Essentially, Roberts took the position that DACA could hypothetically be rescinded with the appropriate legal justification—justification he didn't believe the Trump administration displayed.

For immigrant rights activists, the DACA case was a victory, but only just. The Court's indication that DACA could still be rescinded if the Trump administration used more legally sound arguments will keep activists on their toes.

The rulings on LGBTQ+ worker's rights and abortion legislation were also celebrated as victories among civil rights and pro-choice activists. While both these rulings were made on the grounds of precedent, they further enshrine pro-civil rights legislation in the US legal system and continue the Supreme Court's decision to uphold Roe V. Wade and similar pro-choice legislation.

In the future, expect prosecutors and defenders alike to use these cases as precedent in other rulings. For example, some legal professionals predict that the DACA ruling could extend to other areas of law, such as environmentalism. Lawyers may argue that the other party's case is based on "arbitrary" decisions and cite the DACA case as precedent.

Analyzing how (and why) the Supreme Court makes decisions enables lawyers and citizens alike to understand how and where the US is trending legally.

For help with your legal case, contact Beatriz Zyne, P.A. online or via phone at (305) 876-6138