Civil and Human Rights

With Major Rulings Pending, Supreme Court Enters Homestretch

By Marcia Coyle

 

…Elizabeth Wydra, chief counsel of the Constitutional Accountability Center, said she will look at Hobby Lobby “to see how the court deals with the threshold question of whether secular corporations can bring a claim of religious free exercise, a constitutional right that the Court has never before interpreted to include for-profit commercial corporations.”

 

The decision, Wydra added, could follow in the footsteps of Citizens United, “in which the Roberts Court reads the First Amendment in a new way to give corporations constitutional rights that only individuals had previously been thought to enjoy.”

 

Wydra said she also will watch whether an alliance of liberal and libertarian justices will come together in the cell phone cases to protect their owners’ Fourth Amendment rights. She noted that just such an alliance emerged in amicus briefs supporting the individuals whose phones were searched. That ideological crossover, she said, seemed to be reflected on the bench during oral arguments “as many of the justices appeared to struggle with the government’s argument excluding smartphones from the Fourth Amendment’s protections.”….

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