Why We Ask: Our mission and operations are funded 100% by conservatives like you. Please help us continue to extend Liberty to the next generation and support the 2023 Year-End Campaign today.

September 30, 2022

Will the Conservative Momentum at the Supreme Court Continue This Term?

There is still reason for cautious optimism in some of the marquee impending cases.

The U.S. Supreme Court begins hearing cases for its new term, following its customary summer recess, on Monday, Oct. 3. If this Court term is anything like the most recent one, conservatives and constitutionalists will rejoice. This most recent term, conservatives achieved secured massive wins on abortion (Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization), gun rights (New York State Rifle & Pistol Assn. Inc. v. Bruen), and religious liberty (Carson v. Makin and Kennedy v. Bremerton School District), and another key win on rolling back the administrative state (West Virginia v. EPA).

Now, with such grotesque precedents as Roe v. Wade and Lemon v. Kurtzman properly overturned, will the Court continue to move rightward? Put another way, was the 2021-2022 Supreme Court term a mere blip on the radar, or the beginning of a broader, meaningful conservative legal restoration?

While it is unclear, and there are fewer “culture war”-centric cases on the docket this term than there were last term, there is still reason for cautious optimism in some of the marquee impending cases.

The biggest cases before the Court this term, perhaps by far, are the two cases pertaining to noxious race-conscious affirmative action admissions policies at universities: Students for Fair Admissions Inc. v. President & Fellows of Harvard College, which will apply to private universities, and the sister case of Students for Fair Admissions Inc. v. University of North Carolina, which will apply to public universities. The two cases had been “consolidated” together, meaning they were to be decided in unison, before then being “de-consolidated” to permit Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson — who will have to recuse herself from the Harvard case — to participate in at least one of them. But the legal issues are effectively identical, so the two cases should come out the same way.

The Court most recently upheld race-conscious university admissions policies in the 2003 case of Grutter v. Bollinger, in which Justice Sandra Day O'Connor’s majority opinion explicitly stated that “race-conscious admissions policies must be limited in time,” and added that the “Court expects that 25 years from now, the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary to further the interest approved today.” In fact, not only did the Grutter Court presciently telegraph its own ruling’s possible demise in the twin SFFA cases, but affirmative action is also one rare area where even Chief Justice John Roberts has shined as a voice of sanity. After all, Roberts joined Justice Samuel Alito’s anti-affirmative action dissent in 2016’s Fisher v. University of Texas, and earlier penned perhaps his most famous line in the 2007 race-conscious education case of Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle: “The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.”

There is thus a very strong chance the Court finally ends vile affirmative action policies — which, contra Black Lives Matter propaganda, represent the genuine last remnants of “systemic racism” in America — this term. The ultimate cherry on top would be if Justice Clarence Thomas, a long-time archfoe of race-conscious admissions policies, writes the majority opinions in the two SFFA cases, formally overturning both Grutter and 1978’s Regents of the University of California v. Bakke and thus sending “systemic racism” to the ash heap of history. Hopefully, he gets that opportunity.

The other big “culture war” case this term is a First Amendment/religious liberty-adjacent case out of Colorado: 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis. Sound familiar? It should: The Court ruled on a similar First Amendment/religious liberty case out of Colorado just five terms ago, in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. But in Masterpiece Cakeshop, the Justice Anthony Kennedy-led Court majority issued an extremely narrow ruling that redounded to Christian cake baker Jack Phillips’ case-specific free exercise interest, but failed to render a constitutionally meaningful judgment about the thorny intersection of nondiscrimination law, freedom of speech and freedom of religion.

The fact that the Court granted certiorari in 303 Creative LLC and opted to hear the case, especially coming so soon after Masterpiece Cakeshop and due to the Court’s notable personnel changes since 2018, strongly suggests that the Court is prepared to issue a more sweeping ruling. Here, that would entail ruling in favor of Lorie Smith’s claim that her creation of a wedding planning website is constitutionally tantamount to “pure speech” — and that her website’s commercial activity thus falls under the First Amendment’s strong protective ambit.

Tenth Circuit Judge Timothy Tymkovich wrote a powerful and inspiring dissent last year, when this case reached his appeals court panel; that dissent could, and should, serve as a template for the Supreme Court’s majority opinion. Such a majority opinion in 303 Creative LLC would represent the Court’s long-overdue constitutional validation of religious dissenters’ claim, at least on compelled speech doctrine grounds, from the oppressive forces of “wokeism” and gender ideology. A similarly definitive pro-religious liberty ruling on the intersection of nondiscrimination law and free exercise of religion — in particular, the possible overturning of the contested 1990 case, Employment Division v. Smith — will still wait for another day.

There is less red meat on the docket this Supreme Court term than there was last term, but there is still plenty ahead to look forward to. Above all, the demise of the monstrosity that is modern America’s racist affirmative action regime would be an epochal step in bringing America closer in line with her noble, race-neutral Founding ideals.


Start a conversation using these share links:

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!

The Patriot Post and Patriot Foundation Trust, in keeping with our Military Mission of Service to our uniformed service members and veterans, are proud to support and promote the National Medal of Honor Heritage Center, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, both the Honoring the Sacrifice and Warrior Freedom Service Dogs aiding wounded veterans, the National Veterans Entrepreneurship Program, the Folds of Honor outreach, and Officer Christian Fellowship, the Air University Foundation, and Naval War College Foundation, and the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation. "Greater love has no one than this, to lay down one's life for his friends." (John 15:13)


“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

Please join us in prayer for our nation — that righteous leaders would rise and prevail and we would be united as Americans. Pray also for the protection of our Military Patriots, Veterans, First Responders, and their families. Please lift up your Patriot team and our mission to support and defend our Republic's Founding Principle of Liberty, that the fires of freedom would be ignited in the hearts and minds of our countrymen.

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2023 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.