Last Wednesday was a phenomenal day for the Supreme Court. On that day, the released three rulings that powerfully defend our freedom of speech, our national defense, and our freedom of association.
First, the court sided in a 5-4 decision with the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA), a pregnancy center that provides free resources and emotional support to women who are coping with an unplanned pregnancy.
NIFLA v. Becerra reversed a California law that would have mandated that pro-life centers advertise why and where to get an abortion. The law encroached upon the center’s freedom of speech because advertising abortions would force the NIFLA to violate their mission and their core values.
In a commentary in The Daily Signal, Heritage Legal Fellow Elizabeth Slattery called this decision a win for all Americans, saying “we all should be wary of government compelling dissenting voices to communicate a message that directly contradicts and undermines their very reason for existing.”
Heritage’s initial analysis of the NIFLA’s claim also took Slattery’s stance that California cannot simply compel an ideology onto another.
In another 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court upheld President Trump’s executive order from 2017, which restricted travel from the seven countries that sponsor terrorist groups.
In an official statement, Heritage expert Hans von Spakovsky said, “The decision reaffirmed that the president has the authority as delegated to him by Congress to suspend the entry of aliens from nations that pose a national security threat to the U.S.”
With a final 5-4 decision, in Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCM), SCOTUS ruled that workers cannot be forced to pay labor union fees if they do not want to participate in the unions in the first place.
Slattery applauded the ruling. The Janus decision benefits non-union teachers especially, said Slattery, because the unions “can no longer use compelled fees to lobby against education choice and other political causes that non-union teachers support.
These were close decisions. If a single judge had dissented in any of these cases, we could have lost crucial parts of our freedom of speech, national security, and freedom of association. That is what makes Justice Neil Gorsuch’s appointment to the Supreme Court so important. He is already making a huge impact on the bench by honoring the Constitution instead of manipulating it.
Justice Gorsuch has been a long time favorite of The Heritage Foundation, and we supported his nomination from the beginning. Now that support is paying off in remarkable ways. With Justice Anthony Kennedy retiring soon, Heritage looks forward to helping the President find another judge who will respect the Constitution and defend your freedoms.
These groundbreaking victories belong to you too, as a proud Heritage member. With your loyal support, cases of religious liberty, national security, and union disputes continue to be heard, which allows our civil society to flourish.
What’s the next big issue you want the Supreme Court to hear?