Supreme Court Cases that could impact southern Illinois - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Supreme Court Cases that could impact southern Illinois

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CARBONDALE -- SIU Assistant Law Professor and former Supreme Court Clerk Ed Dawson said the new Supreme Court term could be one of the most consequential in years.

"There are just some cases that have been granted that have a lot of big potential implications," he said.

One case that started in Illinois involves Mark Janus, who works for the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services.

He said it's unfair to force employees to pay into a union they don't feel represents their interests.

Currently, about half of the U.S. States, including Illinois, require public employees to pay Union dues.

Dawson said the case could have a far-reaching impact because unions could potentially lose millions of members if those laws are struck down.

"It will have serious consequences for the abilities of unions to engage in bargaining," he said.

And a case about redistricting in Wisconsin could affect rules for drawing federal, state and local districts.

A lower court ruled the state's districts, drawn in 2011, were unfairly made to give Republicans an advantage.

Dawson said this may be the term's most consequential ruling because if the court rules against partisan gerrymandering, it could require districts be redrawn in dozens of states.

"It could have big domino effect in terms of how legislative districts are drawn, who gets elected, who controls state politics and a lot of consequences could flow from that," Dawson said.

Dawson said Neil Gorsuch's appointment to the nation's highest court is likely to shift rulings to the right.

He also said it will be interesting to see what influence Gorsuch, former clerk of Justice Anthony Kennedy, can have on the Justice who is often the swing vote on cases.

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