New SCOTUS term preview: gerrymandering, LGBTQ rights versus religious liberty, cell site data and more

The new Supreme Court of term starts Monday, October 2, and the docket is full of blockbuster cases that will have big implications on issues such as partisan gerrymandering, LGBTQ and religious rights, the Fourth Amendment, hearing rights for undocumented immigrants and more.

In the words of Ruth Bader Ginsburg speaking at Georgetown Law last week, "there is only one prediction that is entirely safe about the upcoming term, and that is it will be momentous.”

For next week, all eyes are on Gill v. Whitford, the Wisconsin case that will address politician’s power to redraw electoral maps. Another controversial case on the docket is Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, an appeal from a Colorado cake baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple for religious reasons, pitting anti-discrimination laws against the First Amendment right to free speech and religious freedom.

Thursday, the Supreme Court also announced it will hear the case of an Illinois state employee who refused to pay union fees, reviving an issue brought to the fore last year by a California teacher whose case was stalled by the death of Justice Scalia. Host Larry Mantle and our partisan law guests will also preview the most significant cases of the upcoming term, including Jennings v. Rodriguez, Carpenter v. U.S. and more, as well as the two travel ban cases that have been nixed from the docket.

And if you want to geek out about the upcoming term, you can join a FantasySCOTUS league. No, really.


T. Gerald Treece, professor of law and vice president, associate dean, director of student advocacy and special counsel for South Texas College of Law Houston

Ekow Yankah, Professor of Law at Cardozo School of Law; he tweets @ekownyankah