The court must actually rule on two questions.
(1) - Whether states can ban Gay Marriage or whether it is a constitutional right under the 14th Amendment
(2) - Whether states must recognize Gay Marriages performed in other states
My Opinion: The court should legalize Gay Marriage as a right under the 14th Amendment and require cross state recognition of Gay Marriages performed in other states and abroad.
What I Expect: I have a bad feeling about this one that we're going to get some sort of twisted legal abomination of a decision that's going to make the Dred Scott decision look like legal brilliance.
The Court Ruled: As everyone knows by now the court ruled that Gays have the right to marry under the 14th Amendment and states must recognize gay marriages from other states. The vote was 5-4 with Justice Kennedy joining the Liberal faction.
Arizona voters passed a constitutional amendment in 2000 stripping the Legislature of the power to draw districts and giving it to an independent redistricting commission to avoid "gerrymandering," the practice of the majority party in the legislature drawing weird shaped districts to give it a political advantage.
The Legislature went to court, pointing out that Article I of the Constitution specifies that "the times, places and manner of holding elections for Senators and Representatives shall be prescribed in each state by the legislature thereof."
My Opinion: Not only should independent redistricting commissions be allowed they should be required!
What I Expect: Given the conservative nature of the court I expect the Arizona Legislature to win on this one and we will gerrymander on.
The Court Ruled: Arizona voters have the right to decide how redistricting shall occur because based upon the Arizona Constitution it has equal law making authority with the legislature. The vote was 5-4 with Justice Kennedy joining the Liberal faction.
A challenge over the sedative used by several states in executions. The claim is that it merely paralyzes and doesn't protect from "cruel and unusual punishment" as advertised.
My Opinion: Since I'm opposed to Capital Punishment I'd like to see the court ban as many execution drugs as possible and make it harder and more expensive to continue with Capital Punishment.
What I Expect: I honestly don't know what to expect here. Could go either way.
The Court Ruled: The court decided that plaintiffs had not made the case for a violation of the ban against cruel and unusual punishment. The vote was 5-4 with Justice Kennedy joining the Conservative faction.
A challenge to a federal law that sets mandatory minimum sentences for federal firearms offenders who already have three convictions for"violent felonies."
Advocates argue that the law is too vague in defining what is a "violent felony."
My Opinion: I don't know enough about this to have an opinion.
What I Expect: I don't know enough about this to have any idea what to expect.
The Court Ruled: The court ruled that adding an additional sentence violated due process. The vote was 8-1 with only Justice Alito dissenting.
Power Plant Pollution
Three cases asking the court to force the Environmental Protection Agency to consider the economic cost of complying with regulations limiting emissions from power plants before it issues any rules.
Of course since the EPA has never been asked to consider costs before, this could have far reaching implications if it goes the wrong way.
My Opinion: Cost should not be a factor in EPA decisions.
What I Expect: I expect the court to order the EPA to consider cost. Hopefully it will be a narrow decision and not set a precedent that would effectively cripple the EPA.
The Court Ruled: The court ruled that the EPA had erred by not taking cost into account. The vote was 5-4 with Justice Kennedy joining the Conservative faction.