What's Coming From the Supreme Court - The Wednesday AM Quickie 6/15/22

Hi all, we're going to do a quick primer for some Supreme Court decisions and move on to some other headlines. It's also a primary election night, but mostly Republican races, so I'm going to tackle a recap of that tomorrow. If you want stuff ahead of time, WaPo has a good liveblog going which will have results by the time you read this, but I figure it's easier to just wrap up the major themes tomorrow when the dust clears. - Jack

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The Supreme Court Is About to Give Us a Brutal Few Weeks

If you missed the pod yesterday, Sam and the gang had Slate's Supreme Court whisperer Mark Joseph Stern on the show to break down what we might see from the highest judiciary in the land this week and for those to come. Since Ghost's fancy new interface lets us just embed stuff right into the text, here you go! Here's the show!

Anyway, moving on: something I learned about the process of the court: Supreme Court "terms" start in October and usually end in July; hence, we're approaching the end of this one. Here's a quick explainer.

The Term is divided between "sittings," when the Justices hear cases and deliver opinions, and intervening "recesses," when they consider the business before the Court and write opinions. Sittings and recesses alternate at approximately two-week intervals.

Since we're in a mid-June "sitting" session, the opinions are starting to come in thick and fast. We got five on Monday, including the disastrous immigration decision I talked about yesterday. Here's MJS's thread on Monday's proceedings to catch you up.

There weren't any opinions delivered on Tuesday, which means today is the day. So here's what's coming. There are 24 decisions to come before the term ends, with some massive cases on the list. MJS thinks the court will finish up by July 1, so the next two weeks will be huge. It seems like the best bet for a big ruling today is Carson v. Makin, which deals with whether or not people can use state funded tuition vouchers to religious (or sectarian) private schools. This will likely be a pretty big decision that slots into the conservative movement's larger ideological war on public schools – if they can divert state funding into essentially getting more students in private religious schools, they probably will in many red states.

MJS said he expects to get a big gun decision next week in NYSRPA v Bruen, and then, in the final week of June, Dobbs. The abortion case.  The big one. That said, this is the court – so any of these decisions could come at basically any time.

The new term in October, meanwhile, is also going to be brutal: MJS notes that the conservatives are likely going to strike a massive blow to voting rights during some sitting in that window.


Border Patrol Fans Mint Challenge Coin Commemorating Alleged Migrant Whipping

Remember the absurdly inhuman treatment of Haitian migrants along the Rio Grande? Well, some Border Patrol officers certainly want to: an allegedly unofficial "challenge coin" is circulating among officers that shows the famous image of a horse-mounted cop bearing down on a migrant brandishing his reins. The Miami Herald reports that the coins are selling on Ebay for over $15, and at least 41 have sold. CBP says they didn't create the coins, which are in the style of other "challenge coins" awarded to officers after notable events or assignments.

Per the Herald, the coin reads “Reining it in since May 28, 1924. Yesterday’s border is not today’s border.” The rim says "You will be returned." Atrocious.

Starbucks is Threatening to Hold Trans Healthcare Hostage

Bloomberg News reports that Starbucks has sunk to a new low in their battle with a rapidly spreading union movement. A new NLRB unfair labor practices charge reports that employees at an Oklahoma City Starbucks location have had one on one meetings with managers where it's been heavily implied that their health benefits could get dropped if they vote to unionize. Listen to this:

“I think the company realizes that we as trans partners feel particularly vulnerable at this time,” said Oklahoma Starbucks employee Neha Cremin. “I think that in some cases they are willing to take advantage of that.”
Cremin said her manager recently told her in a one-on-one meeting that she wasn’t anti-union, but, “Just know that if you unionize, when you are negotiating your benefits, you could gain, you could lose, or you could stay the same.” The manager then said, “I know specifically, you have used the trans health-care benefits.” The message, said Cremin, struck her as a “veiled threat.”

This is pretty classic union-busting extortion, but it's still shocking when applied to some of the most vulnerable members of any labor movement.

Quickest Quickies

  • Treason Show Ep. 3 Pushed to Thursday Hearings set for Wednesday have been indefinitely postponed but the committee is still meeting Thursday as planned. via NPR.
  • West Texas Oil City Could Be Without Water During Heatwave A water main broke in the city of Odessa, threatening residents with up to 48 hours without water as the city struggles to fix the problem, all in the middle of a heatwave. via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
  • U.S. Won't Push Ukraine Into Ceasefire Even as the war in the East gets more and more dire. via NYT.
  • Biden Mulls Ditching Trump Tariffs on China The idea is to decrease inflation. via NYT.


18 percent

How much crypto hub Coinbase is cutting its staff by, as the big crypto crash continues. That's a lot of layoffs.


6/15: Sam and Emma host Jamie Edwards, organizer with the Trader Joe's Union effort in Hadley, Massachusetts, to discuss the union organizing efforts from the ground.

Don't Miss MR Clips

GOP Troll Claims ‘Beta Males’ Caused Tampon Shortage Ok. Right. Sure.

Tucker Sounds Just Like Alex Jones This isn't really a surprise, to be fair. Same audience too!


“The tide has gone out in crypto, and we’re seeing that many of these businesses and platforms rested on shaky and unsustainable foundations. The music has stopped.”

– Lee Reiners, a former Federal Reserve official who teaches at Duke University Law School.

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