Sarah Parshall Perry Reflects on Supreme Court Cases at Capitol Hill Intern Summit

The Network of enlightened Women hosted the second Capitol Hill Intern Summit in Washington, DC on October 26, 2022. The women in attendance had the opportunity to hear from Sarah Parshall Perry, Senior Legal Fellow at The Heritage Foundation. Perry’s discussion focused on recent Supreme Court rulings and the implications they will have on the midterm elections.  

Perry addressed five Supreme Court case decisions from this year that stood out most to her. These cases included Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization (abortion), New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen (protected gun rights), Kennedy v. Bremerton School District (protected free speech), Carson v. Makin (protected freedom of religion and school choice), and West Virginia v. EPA (protected from government overreach). Perry went through each case in detail highlighting the importance of the ruling and how the justices interpreted the Constitution in each case.  

The biggest takeaway from these rulings is that the majority of Supreme Court Justices are deciding cases using the originalism method, which takes away from political bias and focuses on the history and tradition of what our Founding Fathers intended.  

One attendee asked Perry about the issue of court packing. Perry responded that nine is the perfect number for the nation’s highest court. The number allows for a variation of viewpoints, but prevents stale-mate opinions, judicial activism, and Justices from becoming partisan hacks.  

So, what do the rulings on these five cases mean for the midterm elections? A New York Times poll indicates that more Independent voters are swinging to the right. While the social issues are the ones that have been focused on in the mainstream media, economic concerns are still the most important facing Americans. This concern has jumped from 36% to 44% and favor Republicans by overwhelming majority.  

Younger voters still tend to care most about social issues such as gun rights and abortion. However, Perry mentioned that younger voters are less likely to show up for midterm elections. She also mentioned that the abortion issue will play out more in state and local elections, referencing the past election in Kansas that led to a record turn out as voters rejected the state amendment to restrict abortions as well as the upcoming ballot measures in Kentucky and Montana.  

Perry concluded her discussion by encouraging the women to stay firm in their values and beliefs and reiterated that the women in the room are the future. Perry noted that more women have voted in mid-term elections than men since 1984 and highlighted that four out of the nine Supreme Court Justices are women.  

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