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Professor Lisa McElroy Reviews New Supreme Court Term on Oregon Public Radio

Professor Lisa A. Tucker

October 07, 2015

Professor Lisa McElroy provided an overview of topics that the U.S. Supreme Court is slated to consider in the term that has just begun during an interview on Oregon Public Radio on Oct. 6.

After issuing two major rulings that upheld Obamacare, McElroy said, the court is poised to consider whether religion based non-profit organizations must continue abiding by a provision in the law to offer employees medical coverage that includes birth control.

The court will also hear cases involving laws in Texas and Mississippi that impose very stringent restrictions on clinics and health care providers that offer abortions, McElroy said.  While the court has consistently refused to permit laws that create an undue burden for women seeking to terminate pregnancies, McElroy said, the court could find that the restrictions in Texas and Mississippi do not pose an undue burden.

With the justices also poised to hear cases involving affirmative action and voting rights, McElroy said the court is more politically polarized than usual.

Historically, justices' views tended to shift after their appointment to the Supreme Court, McElroy said, but that has changed with the current court.  

“The justices tend to hold the same views they did when they were appointed,” she said. “We do see major divisions.”