SCOTUS Is Finally Meeting Behind Closed Doors

(PresidentialWire.com)- Supreme Court justices met behind closed doors this week for the first time in three months.

The new term began this week after a normal summer recess, following a term that could be described as one of the most contentious in the history of the high court.

But, despite big rulings such as overturning Roe v. Wade in the last term, there are some big cases still on the horizon for the court in this term.

Aside from actual cases coming before them, the Supreme Court must decide how they can re-open the court to the public as the COVID-19 pandemic is waning, as well as what they should do or say about the investigation they’ve been conducting into who leaked the draft opinion in the case that overturned Roe v. Wade.

The Wednesday meeting is called a “long conference,” and it comes at a time when the Supreme Court is front and center in many people’s minds after the controversial decision to undo federal protections to a woman’s right to abortion.

Liberal Justice Stephen Breyer has retired, being replaced by Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first black woman to serve on the high court. She begins the first full term of her career as public approval of the Supreme Court plummeted in recent months.

It remains to be seen whether the divide between the justices that was seen during the last term will continue into this term and beyond.

While speaking at a conference in Colorado earlier in September, Chief Justice John Roberts admitted that at closed-door meetings, the justices aren’t always on the same page. Still, he said the discussions that happen at these conferences are respectful.

The closed-door meeting on Wednesday will have each justice speak in order of their seniority on the court. Roberts will start, and the discussion will end with Jackson.

This means everyone else will weigh in on cases and direction of the court before Jackson even gets a say. But, she benefits from the unwritten rule that no justice will speak twice until all of the justices have spoken once.

Before the court even gets to the huge number of cases that have piled up during the summer recess, the justices have to decide how to handle public access to the court.

On September 12, liberal Justice Elena Kagan spoke in New York and said the decision on how that would be handled would be figured out shortly into the new term. She also said the justices planned to address the status of their investigation into who leaked the draft opinion from the case that overturned Roe v. Wade.

Kagan added that even if they aren’t able to identify a “perpetrator,” the Supreme Court would most likely add new security protocols as a way to ensure that a leak like that doesn’t ever happen again in the future.

The leak was seen by conservatives to be done by a liberal who was hoping the anticipated public backlash would sway some conservative justices to change their position. That never happened, though.