All Eyes on SCOTUS Over Retirement Rumor, Travel Ban
Plus, 6 outstanding decisions could be out on court's final day of term
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 26, 2017 6:44 AM CDT
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The sun flares in the camera lens as it rises behind the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington on June 25, 2017.   (AP Photo/J. David Ake)

(Newser) – The Supreme Court gathers Monday for the last scheduled day of the current term, with decisions on six cases—including one on the separation of church and state—still to come. Overshadowing all that, however, is speculation about whether Justice Anthony Kennedy will announce his retirement after 30 years on the bench. Details:

  • Kennedy: If the 81-year-old is indeed stepping down, he would have told President Trump by now. But Kellyanne Conway wasn't giving any hints: "I will never reveal a conversation between a sitting justice and the president or the White House,” she said on ABC News Sunday.
  • Don't bet on it: David Lat of Above the Law assesses the Kennedy rumors and weighs in on the chances of retirement: "Highly unlikely."

  • The six cases: ScotusBlog provides quick snapshots of the six cases on which decisions are pending. A big one is Trinity Lutheran Church v. Comer, which involves a Missouri church that sought to use state funds designated for nonprofits to build a playground.
  • Travel ban: One wild card is that the court also could make an announcement related to Trump's travel ban. A post at Lawfare runs through six possibilities, including the announcement of a special session in July to hear arguments. One key question expected to be answered as soon as Monday: Will the justices keep lower courts' temporary injunctions in place or allow the ban to take effect until a decision is reached? Slate assesses.
  • Back to drawing board? Three of the six cases still pending, all of which involve immigrants or foreigners, were argued before Trump appointee Neil Gorsuch took the bench, notes the AP. It's possible the court could decide that some or all be re-argued before the nine-member court. Among them is Hernandez v. Mesa, on whether the family of a Mexican teen who was killed by a US border patrol agent can sue over a Fourth Amendment violation regarding the use of deadly force.
  • Next term: The court also is expected to announce whether some high-profile cases will be on the docket next year. Two notable ones involve gun rights and the Second Amendment, and Breitbart has details.

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