Law360 Podcasts Untangle A Week Of Blockbuster Rulings

  July 3, 2023, 6:23 PM EDT ·

The U.S. Supreme Court wrapped up its term last week with a series of blockbuster rulings striking down affirmative action and the government's ambitious plan to eliminate billions of dollars in federal student loan debt, and siding with a website designer opposed to same-sex weddings and a religious former postal worker seeking workplace accommodations.

Law360's sister podcasts The Term and Pro Say published a series of episodes speaking with experts about the sweeping implications from the court's monumental close, the majority opinions and fiery dissents, and all the questions raised by the justices' final decisions.

The high court began Thursday by dismantling affirmative action in a 6-3 majority opinion that held that race-based admissions policies at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill violated the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. Law360 senior Boston courts reporter Chris Villani joined The Term podcast to discuss the ruling and what it means for academia and a potentially broad swath of the workforce.

The court on Thursday also ruled in favor of a formal postal worker who objected to working on Sundays because of religious reasons, holding that the Third Circuit shouldn't have permitted the U.S. Postal Service to deny the Evangelical worker's religious accommodation request. Law360 Employment Authority editor-at-large Vin Gurrieri joined the Pro Say podcast to discuss how the high court raised the bar on what kind of accommodation is so burdensome that an employer cannot be expected to honor it.

The justices closed out the term on Friday with a blockbuster ruling that pitted free speech against LGBTQ rights, ruling that a Christian website designer in Colorado has the right to refuse service to same-sex couples on account of her protected free speech rights. Law360's The Term caught up with Holland & Hart LLP partner Christopher Jackson, who has been tracking the long litigation path of 303 Creative v. Elenis , to discuss what we learned from the opinion and what it means for gay rights, free speech and anti-discrimination law in the country.

In a second case Friday, the court also struck down President Joe Biden's ambitious student loan forgiveness plan on the grounds the administration lacked the authority under a 2003 law allowing the U.S. Department of Education to "waive or modify" federal student loan requirements in times of a national emergency, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. 

More information about The Term and Pro Say can be found here and here. You can also subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, Google Podcasts and iHeartRadio. And if you like the show, please leave a written review! It helps others find us more easily.

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