Nina Totenberg | KUNR

Nina Totenberg

For nearly a half-century, abortion has been a constitutional right in the United States. But this week, the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments in a Mississippi case that directly challenges Roe v. Wade and subsequent decisions.

Those rulings consistently declared that a woman has a constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy in the first two trimesters of pregnancy when a fetus is unable to survive outside the womb. But with that abortion right now in doubt, it's worth looking back at its history.

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Monday in a case involving an FBI undercover operation at a mosque in California. Area Muslims are suing the FBI over a nearly year-long surveillance program that, at least publicly, yielded no results and proved a huge embarrassment to the bureau.

How it began

In hindsight, the covert operation unfolded like some sort of black comedy. As Ira Glass reported on This American Life back in 2012, "It is a cautionary tale, a case where we can watch everything go wrong."

Updated November 3, 2021 at 3:52 PM ET

At the U.S. Supreme Court, the conservative majority seemed ready Wednesday to broaden gun rights by striking down a New York law that limits the right to carry concealed handguns.

Some 80 million people live in states that, like New York, limit concealed carry.

Wednesday marks a showdown over guns at the legal O.K. Corral. The Supreme Court hears arguments in its first major gun case in more than a decade, and the new conservative supermajority seems poised to make gun regulation more difficult.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Updated November 1, 2021 at 1:08 PM ET

Abortion rights are front and center at the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday, but not the way most people expected. The focus will not be on abortion rights, per se, but on the controversial Texas law designed to prevent court challenges.

Updated October 22, 2021 at 1:40 PM ET

The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday agreed to review a controversial Texas abortion law on Nov. 1 but refused to block the law while it examines the state's unusual enforcement scheme and whether the Department of Justice has the right to sue to block the law.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

This week, just days after the Boston Marathon took place for the first time since the pandemic began, the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments in the case of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who was sentenced to death for his role in the terrorist bombing of the race in 2013. The question in the case is not Tsarnaev's guilt. It is whether he was properly sentenced to death and whether he had a fair trial.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments Wednesday in a case testing the limits of public disclosure about the CIA's secret torture program after the Sept. 11 attacks.

The central issue of the case concerns whether a detainee at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, who has never been charged with a crime can subpoena testimony from the CIA contractors who supervised his torture.

Abu Zubaydah was the first prisoner held by the CIA to undergo extensive torture.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

GAIL CURLEY: The honorable, the chief justice and the associate justices of the Supreme Court of the United States.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

For the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court, Monday marks the first time nearly all of them will gather together in the courtroom since the lockdown a year and a half ago. But if some of the justices greet the new term with great anticipation for a new conservative legal era, others likely are facing the term with dread.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Updated September 20, 2021 at 8:02 PM ET

The Supreme Court will hear arguments Dec. 1 in a case from Mississippi that tests whether all state laws that ban pre-viability abortions are unconstitutional.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

YouTube

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer has a warning to those who want to remake the court: Be careful what you wish for.

The Supreme Court's conservative majority tossed a legal bomb into the abortion debate late Wednesday night.

By a vote of 5-to-4, the court's most conservative members upheld, for now, a Texas law that, in effect, bans abortions after about six weeks. But almost as important as the result was how the court reached its decision — without full briefing and arguments before any court.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Updated September 2, 2021 at 12:20 PM ET

The U.S. Supreme Court late Wednesday night refused to block a Texas law that amounts to a ban on abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. The vote was 5-4, with three Trump-appointed justices joining two other conservative justices. Dissenting were conservative Chief Justice John Roberts and the court's three liberal justices.

Pages