Photo: Chip Stapleton (left) and Holley Ulbrich, Co-President of LWVOP (right)
From: LWV of Oconee and Pickens Counties (LWVOP)
Contact: Janet Marsh 864.710.0557
LWVOP Program: The Supreme Court: What's Ahead
Date: October 18, 2023
For Immediate Release
“The Supreme Court: What’s Ahead” was the topic at the October meeting of the League of Women Voters of Oconee and Pickens Counties at the Clemson United Methodist Church. Chip Stapleton provided an overview of what the Justices have in store for us during the coming term; talked about transparency and accountability, so important to democracy; explained the Supreme Court Emergency (Shadow) Docket; and made suggestions for reform.
Mr. Stapleton is a retired government relations consultant and former Chairperson of the Clemson University Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. He said cases that are already scheduled for review this year deal with gun rights, redistricting, the Consumer Protection Finance Board, social media and free speech, and income taxes. These cases are some of the 80 cases the Court will hear, chosen from 8,000. With the Court term of October through June, most verdicts are typically announced in late May or June.
Stapleton discussed the ups and downs of the Court and its decisions over the decades, as perceived by the public. Currently public opinion of the Court is low. However, when the Court makes a decision supported by a majority of the public, its support increases. While the public may question its decisions, the Court’s legitimacy is grounded in The Constitution and is inviolable. Only Congress or a Constitutional amendment can change the Court. He did predict that the Court will soon produce its own ethical code of conduct.
The Court’s emergency docket raised much interest. The docket of up to 100 cases/year is used for judgments that are timely and relatively easy to decide, and when delay would be harmful.
Mr. Stapleton suggested one improvement to the Court could be a better process for deciding which cases to accept each year, citing the length of the current selection system.
The League of Women Voters (LWV), a nonpartisan political organization, encourages the informed and active participation of citizens in government, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. LWV of Oconee and Pickens Counties is an organization fully committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion in principle and in practice. For more information, lwvop.org