WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court has some big decisions to make in the next few days that could affect American democracy for the next decade and beyond.
A dozen cases remain to be decided as the justices race to the finish line of their 2018 term in much the same way students cram for final exams. They also must make some big choices about cases to be heard next term.
Tops on the list are two major cases with huge political implications. The court must decide whether to let the Trump administration ask about citizenship in the 2020 census, and whether to uphold or strike down congressional district maps in North Carolina and Maryland that were drawn for partisan gain.
If the citizenship question is allowed, Census Bureau officials say it would result in an undercount of Hispanics and other immigrants, which in turn would affect the distribution of congressional seats and federal funds among states.
If either the North Carolina or Maryland maps are declared unconstitutional, it would mark the first time the Supreme Court has struck down a state's redistricting work for partisan, rather than racial, reasons. That could affect other states as well, including Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin.
Other cases awaiting the court's verdict include a trademark dispute over a clothing line that goes by the name FUCT; a South Dakota newspaper's battle to get federal food stamp data through the Freedom of Information Act; and a criminal jurisdiction fight that could result in half the state of Oklahoma being declared an Indian reservation.
On the 2019 term front, the court could agree to hear the Trump administration's appeal of lower court rulings preventing it from ending the DACA program, which protects from deportation undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Supreme Court faces 12 decisions this week, including census citizenship question and partisan gerrymandering