Supreme Court ’23-’24 Term in Review: ‘It’s About Power. It’s About Politics.’

Monday, July 1, marked the end of a historic and ominous Supreme Court term—with bombshell rulings on presidential immunity, the right to abortion care in emergencies, gun control, the criminalization of homelessness, the availability of medication abortion and more.

A panel at the 14th annual Supreme Court Review at Georgetown Law School discussed the high Court’s monumental decisions from the last several months, which will have ripple effects for years and decades to come. 

Read Sonia Sotomayor’s Dissent: ‘The President Is Now a King Above the Law’

In a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that former President Donald Trump has “absolute immunity” from criminal prosecution for all “official acts” he took while in office. The case, which began last year, is related to charges against the former president for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, attacks on the U.S. Capitol.

“With fear for our democracy, I dissent,” Justice Sonia Sotomayor concluded in a scathing dissent, joined by Justices Elena Kagan and Ketanji Brown Jackson.

Read more of our favorite takes from her dissent.

EMTALA Dissents: Jackson Warns of ‘Storm Clouds’ for Pregnant Women, While Conservatives Long for Fetal Personhood

The Supreme Court’s dismissal of the EMTALA case drew the fierce ire of Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson. Warning of the “storm clouds [that] loom ahead,” Jackson condemned the Court’s failure to resolve the case on the merits, in accordance with the long-settled principle that “state laws that conflict with federal laws, are ‘without effect.’”

In an alternate dissent, the Court’s hardcore conservative justices—Alito, Thomas and Gorsuch—paid homage to the unborn child.

Nowhere to Turn: Survivors are Unsafe at Home and Criminalized on the Streets

As domestic violence and housing costs skyrocket, the Supreme Court’s answer to the crisis of homelessness is more cruelty.

Now, it’s up to state and local governments to invest in proven strategies that help end abuse and homelessness, such as broad investments in affordable housing and targeted investments in survivor-specific housing programs. Survivors can’t wait any longer for the safe, affordable housing they need.

War on Women Report: Supreme Court Fails to Deliver Abortion Wins; Senate Republicans Block Contraception and IVF Bills

U.S. patriarchal authoritarianism is on the rise, and democracy is on the decline. But day after day, we stay vigilant in our goals to dismantle patriarchy at every turn. The fight is far from over. We are watching, and we refuse to go back. This is the War on Women Report.

Since our last report: New Hampshire became the 13th state to outlaw child marriage; parents sue Louisiana for new law requiring 10 Commandments be displayed in schools; Republican-dominated legislatures continue to attack rights, introducing further restrictions on abortion, contraception and IVF; Trump defends state-level abortion bans and the overturn of Roe at the debate; Iowa’s six-week abortion ban approved by the state Supreme Court and more.

21st-Century Medical Care Is for Everyone, Including Pregnant People

The Supreme Court has come down on the major abortion case Moyle v. United States, effectively dismissing the case and leaving pregnant women and healthcare providers in Idaho without answers.

I just had the privilege of experiencing the very best of American modern medicine this week for my knee surgery. We celebrate our American medical system as the best in the world—so why would we voluntarily decide to deny the care that I just received this past week to women in 21 states in our country?

Idaho Women Are Temporarily Safer—But This Is Not a Victory for Abortion Rights

On Thursday, the Supreme Court issued the official ruling in its final major abortion case of 2024, dismissing the consolidated cases of Idaho v. United States and Moyle v. United States. The Court’s dismissal temporarily upholds a lower court ruling that sided with the Biden administration in requiring that hospitals perform life and health-saving abortions where needed.

This is good news for obvious reasons—chief among them that “women don’t deserve to die or become disabled because they got pregnant in an anti-abortion state” really should not be up for debate. With this decision, Idaho individuals still won’t have basic abortion rights, but they will at least have the same rights as everyone else to be medically stabilized if they find themselves pregnant and in an emergency medical situation.

But this Court wouldn’t answer a vital question: Do pregnant women deserve the same medical treatment to save their lives and preserve their health as everyone else? It may not be the worst-case scenario, but it’s also not any sort of win.

‘Not a Victory,’ But ‘a Delay’: With the Supreme Court’s EMTALA Ruling, U.S. Women Are Still at Risk

In an opinion published Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court dismissed its final major abortion case of the term. The opinion was a narrow ruling that Idaho cannot prohibit doctors from performing emergency abortions for women with life-threatening pregnancy complications while the case is appealed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Make no mistake: The ruling in Moyle and Idaho is barely a win for abortion supporters. The Court refused to rule on the underlying issue: Must state abortion bans provide an exemption when a woman’s health is at risk, not only her life?