The Impact of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s Death on Upcoming Cases
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died on February 13, 2016. On Monday, February 22nd, the Supreme Court resumed and began hearing oral arguments without a full bench. Due to the current political leanings of the remaining eight justices, the likelihood of a 4-4 tie on the cases heard during the current term is high.
In the event there is a tie, the lower court’s opinion is affirmed and no national precedent is set. Where the Court is equally divided, no decision is rendered, and the judgment of the lower court remains in effect; however, that judgment is not binding and judges in future cases are not obligated to follow the Court’s decision.
The session which opened on February 22nd is six days long and will include oral arguments on twelve cases dealing with issues ranging from admission of evidence found during an unlawful police stop resulting in an arrest on an active warrant unknown to police at the time the stop was initiated to whether courts are required to investigate scientific evidence behind a state’s decision to regulate abortion based on promoting women’s health, or if they are to accept a state’s rationale without looking into its bases.
The death of Justice Scalia carries many implications, one of which is the determination of upcoming cases and whether any matter will be decided definitively or if lower courts’ decisions will be affirmed due to a divided Court.
To schedule an appointment with one of our attorneys or for further information, call us at LaMonaca Law, at (610) 892-3877