Arguments Heard in First Cases of 2022-2023 SCOTUS Term

On Monday, the United States Supreme Court kicked off its 2022-2023 term by hearing oral arguments for two cases. The first case before the Court was Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency, which considers:

Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit set forth the proper test for determining whether wetlands are "waters of the United States" under the Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. § 1362(7).

The second case before the Court was Delaware v. Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, which considers whether:

(1) Whether MoneyGram Official Checks are “a money order, traveler’s check, or other similar written instrument (other than a third party bank check) on which a banking or financial organization or a business association is directly liable,” pursuant to 12 U.S.C. § 2503; (2) whether the court should command Wisconsin and Pennsylvania not to assert any claim over abandoned and unclaimed property related to MoneyGram Official Checks; and (3) whether all future sums payable on abandoned MoneyGram Official Checks should be remitted to Delaware.

Among the cases that will be heard by the Court later this week is Merrill v. Milligan, a major redistricting case.

Polling released by Gallup last week shows that trust in the Court is at an all-time low:

Forty-seven percent of U.S. adults say they have "a great deal" or "a fair amount" of trust in the judicial branch of the federal government that is headed by the Supreme Court. This represents a 20-percentage-point drop from two years ago, including seven points since last year, and is now the lowest in Gallup's trend by six points. The judicial branch's current tarnished image contrasts with trust levels exceeding two-thirds in most years in Gallup's trend that began in 1972.

Much of the decline in trust of the Court has come from Democrats, who rush to the media to criticize any decision with which they disagree:

The court has come under criticism for a series of rulings in its last term that aligned with conservative policy preferences, including on abortion, environmental policy, gun laws and the separation of church and state. Six of the nine justices now are conservative-leaning, after former President Donald Trump's three Supreme Court nominees were seated during his tenure.

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito recently warned against questioning the integrity of the Court:

In a comment Tuesday to The Wall Street Journal, Justice Alito said: “It goes without saying that everyone is free to express disagreement with our decisions and to criticize our reasoning as they see fit. But saying or implying that the court is becoming an illegitimate institution or questioning our integrity crosses an important line.”

To learn more about this year's Supreme Court term, visit the "RNLA Members Welcome Page" to view the recording of our Supreme Court term preview featuring Ilya Shapiro and Ed Whelan.