Supreme Court to weigh cases on guns, regulations and redistricting in new term

Justices of the US Supreme Court pose for their official photo at the Supreme Court in Washington, DC on Oct. 7, 2022. - (Seated from left) Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice John Roberts, Associate Justice Samuel Alito and Associate Justice Elena Kagan, (Standing behind from left) Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett, Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch, Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Associate Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson. (Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images/TNS)

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court starts a new term Monday replete with cases that will test how far the conservative majority could reshape the nation’s laws when it comes to gun regulations, medication abortion, congressional redistricting and the power of federal regulatory agencies.




Several of the most closely watched cases come from decisions out of the 5th Circuit, which will confront the justices with some more conservative takes on their own decisions and test whether the Supreme Court will follow along.

For instance, in U.S. v. Rahimi, the 5th Circuit struck down a federal ban on firearm possession for people subject to domestic violence restraining orders. To do so, the appeals court used the same historical analysis that the Supreme Court did in a 2021 decision that broadened gun rights, New York State Rifle &Pistol Association v. Bruen.

That Bruen decision laid out a new legal test for the constitutionality of gun regulations that relies on the history and tradition of the founding era. Judges implementing it since then have tossed gun restrictions, and the case is the first time the justices will revisit the issue.

Hashim M. Mooppan, a partner and Supreme Court litigator at Jones Day, said the case was teed up well for the Biden administration as it seeks to defend a federal law. Some members of Congress say the law retains bipartisan support.

The Supreme Court is also teed up to decide whether to decide the future availability of mifepristone, used for medication abortion.

Challenges to abortion expanded to target mifepristone after the Supreme Court’s 2022 decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that wiped out a constitutional right to abortion.

Earlier this month, both the government and the drug’s manufacturer, Danco Laboratories, filed petitions for the court to hear the case after the 5th Circuit issued a ruling restricting FDA approval for the drug.



The Supreme Court will also review a 5th Circuit decision that found the funding structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau violated the Constitution because Congress structured it to be funded through Federal Reserve Bank receipts rather than congressional appropriations.

Joseph Lynyak, a partner at Dorsey &Whitney LLP who specializes in financial regulation, said the 5th Circuit’s holding in the CFPB case could spark dozens of challenges to everything done by that agency or any other agency funded by fees, which includes major financial regulators like the Federal Reserve.

“I don’t think it’s a step too far. I think it’s more like several football fields too far, because of the implications of it,” Lynyak said of the possibility the justices might uphold the 5th Circuit ruling.

Along with the CFPB case is another from the 5th Circuit that held administrative law judges, used by the Securities and Exchange Commission and other agencies to oversee disputes, violate the Constitution.



In a case about a dispute over fishery rules, the Supreme Court could curtail a decades-old precedent that directed judges to defer to administrative agencies when interpreting a vague statute.

Conservatives have targeted the so-called Chevron doctrine for years — it has been the subject of proposed legislation for more than a decade in the form of the repeatedly introduced REINS Act. The Republican-controlled House passed a version of the bill on an almost party-line vote in June.

Andrew Pincus, a partner and Supreme Court litigator at Mayer Brown, said the Chevron doctrine case is emblematic of a broader skepticism of the reach of the executive branch in the current court.

“If you take a step back and look at an area of law that is being remade, the changes in administrative law are about as significant as in every other area the court has touched,” Pincus said.

Pincus said there has been a long line of cases reining in executive agencies, either by allowing the president to fire officers at will or by finding agency actions went outside the law.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Star-Advertiser's TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email