Understanding this week’s Supreme Court rulings

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The Supreme Court will reconvene Friday at 9 a.m. to possibly hand down rulings on several cases.

WGN political analyst Paul Lisnek joined WGN Morning News to discuss the Obamacare ruling and potential same-sex marriage decision.


Same-sex Marriage

The Supreme Court may rule Friday or Monday on same-sex marriage.

The court is expected to determine two things:

  1. Can states ban same-sex marriage?
  2. Should states recognize legal same-sex marriages performed in other states?

Lethal Injection

Justices are expected to rule on lethal injections. They will answer if sedative midazolam protects inmates from cruel and unusual punishment by putting them into a coma-like state.

Other upcoming rulings

The Supreme Court also has yet to rule on the following cases:

  • Who controls the drawing of congressional districts? This question relates to the practice of gerrymandering.
  • Three cases relate to asking the Environmental Protection Agency about considering the economic impact of regulations before issuing regulations against power plant emissions.
  • The high court could also decide the constitutionality of the Armed Career Criminal Act.

This week's rulings


Thursday, the high court ruled in favor of the Affordable Care Act. Nationwide tax subsidies under President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul will stay in a 6-3 ruling.

The justices said that the subsidies 8.7 million people currently receive to make insurance affordable do not depend on where they live, under the 2010 health care law.

Affordable Housing

The Supreme Court also upheld a key enforcement tool used by the Obama administration and civil rights groups to fight housing bias on Thursday.

The justices ruled that federal housing laws can prohibit seemingly neutral practices that harm minorities even without proof of intentional discrimination.

The ruling is a major victory for fair housing advocates who say that even race-neutral policies can have a negative impact on minority groups.

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