Cases argued in front of the Supreme Court typically capture the attention of the American people. And with good reason. Out of 7,000 to 8,000 requests to hear a case annually, the U.S. Supreme Court typically chooses around 80 cases per year, and decides on about 50 without hearing a single argument from the parties involved. Cases that have not been previously heard are rarely chosen, with two-thirds of cases appealed from lower federal court, and another one-third are state supreme court appeals.
Typically, each of the 80 cases the Supreme Court rules on will directly affect constitutional or federal law—and could change the course of history. In the upcoming year, the court will take on its first major church-state case in five years, a First Amendment challenge to a cross-shaped war memorial on public ground in Maryland, a First Amendment case involving a vulgar term's "phonetic twin," as well as its first gun case in over a decade — among others.
Compounding questions about the current Supreme Court is not the individual cases, but the composition of the court itself. With the additions of Justice Neil M. Gorsuch and Justice Brett Kavanaugh, the court is now holds a conservative majority for the first time since 1936.
Join us for a conversation on why 2019 could be a historic year for the Supreme Court.