The Supreme Court is expected to announce decisions this week on about 12 different cases, including some on abortion and immigration.
Rulings on this season’s “spring flood” of cases are expected to be complicated by the death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia. Now there are four conservative justices on the bench and four liberal ones.
"Eight, as you know, is not a good number for a multi-member court," Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said. "That means no opinions and no precedential value; an equal division is essentially the same as a denial of review."
In the event of a tie, according to Fox News, the victory defaults to the party that won at the lower court in states covered by that appeals court’s jurisdiction.
One case the Supreme Court will rule on concerns abortion clinic restrictions in Texas. Carrie Severino, chief counsel of the conservative Judicial Crisis Network, says she thinks the outcome will be 4-4, but the case could come back to the court again.
Still, the court has a “swing vote” in one justice.
"I think all eyes are going to be on Justice [Anthony] Kennedy and I don't think it will split 4-4," said Elizabeth Wydra, president of the Constitutional Accountability Center. "I think Justice Kennedy will join the more liberal justices to say the Supreme Court has reaffirmed there is a constitutional right for a woman to choose whether or not to have an abortion."
Publication date: June 20, 2016