Everything You Should Know About This Week's U.S. Supreme Court Rulings

The Supreme Court of The United States delivered multiple key rulings on hot-button topics over the last two days including Affirmative Action and Biden’s proposed plan to forgive student loans. Next week, the court will break for summer recess, but not before they released a total of 10 opinions on some of the most important current cases in the country.  

Here are the decisions you should know about: 

SCOTUS Ends Affirmative Action 

The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that universities and colleges around the country can no longer take race into consideration when it comes to college admissions, a decision that overturns a nearly 60-year precedent that has, according to Democrats, helped level the playing field for some Black and Latino students who don’t have access to the same resources as their wealthier counterparts.  

According to an opinion written by Chief Justice John Roberts, the court believes that the systems currently in place “lack sufficiently focused and measurable objectives" to justify the use of race in college admissions and can end in racial stereotyping and bias.  

Experts believe that this decision will cause massive changes to college education and the admissions process in the United States. GOP officials celebrated the ruling, citing that college admissions should be purely merit-based, and race should play no role in the decision.  


SCOTUS Rules Against Student Loan Forgiveness  

On Friday morning, the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 against Biden’s plan to forgive more than $400 billion in federal student loan debt, citing that the president overstepped his authority. The decision effectively ended Biden’s plan to help relieve the debt of more than 43 million Americans.  

The plan would have eliminated up to $20,000 of federal student loan debt for those who make at least $150,000, and $10,000 for those who make below that. In an opinion written by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., the court ruled that Biden does not have the ability to cancel student loan debt, but can “postpone” or “delay,” and that the cancellation must be “an act of Congress.” 


SCOTUS Strengthens Religious Protection and Freedom in the Workplace 

The Supreme Court ruled unanimously on Thursday morning that employers will have to meet higher standards in order to deny an employee’s religious accommodation. Under the previous legal standard, employers only had to demonstrate a minimal inconvenience to deny a religious worker's request for accommodation. Under the new verdict, employers must show that the burden of granting a religious accommodation would have “substantial increased costs in relation to the conduct of its particular business.” 

Experts believe that this decision will be extremely beneficial to religious minorities such as Muslims and Jews, who are most of the plaintiffs in the case.  


SCOTUS Rules In Favor of Small Business Owner 

The Supreme Court ruled in favor of a small business owner on Friday morning who refused to create a wedding website for a same-sex couple, citing her strong Christian beliefs as the reason for her refusal. The website designer cited the First Amendment, saying it prohibits the state from forcing her to express messages that are contrary to her religion.  

After another 6-3 vote, Justice Neil Gorsuch delivered the majority opinion saying, “The First Amendment envisions the United States as a rich and complex place where all persons are free to think and speak as they wish, not as the government demands.”  

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