By Bionic Mosquito
From the Washington Post (HT LRC):
Two days after Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died suddenly in remote West Texas, a former D.C. homicide commander is raising questions about how the death was handled by local and federal authorities.
“As a former homicide commander, I am stunned that no autopsy was ordered for Justice Scalia,” William O. Ritchie, former head of criminal investigations for D.C. police, wrote in a post on Facebook on Sunday.
“You have a Supreme Court Justice who died, not in attendance of a physician,” he wrote. “You have a non-homicide trained US Marshal tell the justice of peace that no foul play was observed. You have a justice of the peace pronounce death while not being on the scene and without any medical training opining that the justice died of a heart attack. What medical proof exists of a myocardial Infarction? Why not a cerebral hemorrhage?”
I am not an expert in the voting records of the various justices. I take as reported that Scalia is one of the more conservative justices. I also take it as reported that the court is pretty evenly divided 5-4 on ideological lines. Although I am not sure any of this matters (when was the last time the court struck down anything meaningful?), the circumstances are still curious.
So…what cases are in front of the court this year?
Evenwel v. Abbott (One Person, One Vote)
In this case, the Court will decide if eligible voting population numbers can be substituted for total population numbers when voting districts are determined.
Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin (Affirmative Action)
In December the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, a landmark challenge to affirmative action at Texas’ flagship public university. The University of Texas is required to admit all high school seniors who rank in the top 10 percent of their high school classes. Candidates for any remaining spots undergo a “holistic” evaluation process in which race is among the considered factors.
Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association (Public Union Dues)
Friedrichs is a challenge to the practices of public unions. The Court will determine whether requiring public school teachers to pay mandatory dues for union activities violates the First Amendment.
Whole Women’s Health v. Cole (Abortion)
The petitioners in Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole claim a Texas law enacted in 2013 would force about 75 percent of the state’s abortion services to close. Two provisions in the law require that doctors at clinics have hospital admitting privileges within 30 miles of the clinics, and that clinics have facilities equal to those of an outpatient surgical center. Texas officials believe the laws protect the health of the women seeking abortions by guaranteeing better care.
Zubik vs. Burwell (Obamacare)
The United States Supreme Court in November consolidated seven cases challenging Obamacare’s birth-control mandate into one: Zubik v. Burwell. The current legal challenge, the fourth to be accepted by the Court since the Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010, involves religious-sponsored non-profit corporations.
The Supreme Court announced Tuesday that it will decide the fate of President Barack Obama’s immigration actions this term.
The actions are aimed at allowing millions of undocumented immigrants to apply for programs that could make them eligible for work authorization and associated benefits.
And this from Rolling Stone:
Upcoming Supreme Court Cases That Could Change History: Many liberals are nervous about the upcoming Supreme Court term – and they should be
The article references several of the aforementioned cases.
Someone with more knowledge than I have on Scalia, his leanings, etc., will probably write about the impact of his death on these cases.
Maybe his death is irrelevant to these. Maybe it is just a coincidence.