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Here are 2 Supreme Court decisions we're still waiting for this term

The Supreme Court building, pictured Tuesday.
Anna Moneymaker
Getty Images
The Supreme Court building, pictured Tuesday.

Updated June 29, 2022 at 11:22 AM ET

One of the most consequential Supreme Court terms in recent memory still has two major cases left on the docket — cases that could alter the political landscape on immigration and the environment.

The court has already made statements on abortion and gun control with its rulings to overturn Roe v. Wade and to strike down a New York concealed carry law.

But the two cases left — West Virginia v. EPA and Biden v. Texas — are also important cases that could have major effects on the executive branch's ability to make policy.

The next opinion date is Thursday, June 30. Both decisions are expected then.

Environmental protection

West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency is all about the federal government's ability to create environmental regulations. The challengers are a group of 27 Republican attorneys general, many from states with traditions in the fossil fuel industry, including West Virginia.

Essentially, they argue that the executive branch of government — which includes the EPA — should not be allowed to set rules and regulations around greenhouse gas emissions. Rather, it should be Congress to do so, they say.

Neither of the actual regulations at the heart of the case — the Obama-era Clean Power Plan, and the Trump-era Affordable Clean Energy rule — are currently in effect.

Despite that, a wide-ranging ruling could weaken the federal government's ability to combat climate change by regulating greenhouse gas emissions.

Read more about the case:

  • Supreme Court to hear a case that could limit the EPA's power to fight climate change
  • Experts worry Supreme Court could hamstring EPA, other federal agencies in upcoming climate case
  • "Remain in Mexico"

    Biden v. Texas is the case over the so-called "Remain in Mexico" immigration policy, which was enacted by then-President Donald Trump in 2019.

    The policy requires many asylum-seekers to stay in Mexico while they wait for asylum hearings — a wait that typically lasts months or years.

    The Biden administration has twice tried to end the policy, first in June of last year, and again in October. But lower courts have ordered the administration to reinstate the policy after challenges from Texas and Missouri, which argue that efforts to reverse the policy violated administrative and immigration law.

    Read and hear more about the case:

  • Supreme Court's conservatives divided over 'Remain in Mexico' policy
  • Will the Supreme Court be as deferential to Biden on immigration as it was to Trump?
  • U.S. will resume 'Remain in Mexico' policy for asylum-seekers
  • NPR Politics Podcast: Remain In Mexico: Will The Supreme Court Let Biden End Trump's Asylum Policy?
  • Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

    Becky Sullivan has reported and produced for NPR since 2011 with a focus on hard news and breaking stories. She has been on the ground to cover natural disasters, disease outbreaks, elections and protests, delivering stories to both broadcast and digital platforms.