Upcoming Supreme Court rulings, child care subsidies

Impending Supreme Court rulings could have huge impact on civil liberties, social justice

UP NEXT: This coming Thursday will see the highest court in the land pass judgment on a plethora of crucial lawsuits with massive implications for issues ranging from LGBTQ rights to affirmative action. The Supreme Court is expected to rule on the six remaining cases in their docket before their summer vacation begins next week.

SO FAR: The court already ruled on Tuesday that state courts can intervene in voting redistricting if it is deemed excessively partisan.

WHAT TO EXPECT: In the case of affirmative action, it was reported that all six Republican-appointed judges were skeptical of its use in college admissions. Justice Clarence Thomas in particular has long railed against its function. Similarly, in the case of Biden’s student relief program, the conservative majority seems poised to strike down the president’s popular debt reduction. However, some advocates are predicting the Court will not rule on the program and instead find that the states suing the Biden administration are overstepping.

The nine judges will also make two rulings in regard to religious liberty: one involving whether or not a Christian graphic designer can discriminate against designing wedding websites for same-sex couples and another involving one worker’s argument that being forced to clock in on Sundays amounts to religious discrimination.

Wisconsin Republicans end $600 million child care subsidy

THE CUT: Last week, the GOP-controlled Wisconsin Legislature officially ended a COVID-19 program that had provided $600 million in funds to almost 5,000 childcare providers. The subsidies had originally been meant to keep such providers from having to close down but had become a crucial subsidy that allowed firms to increase pay, lower costs and hire more staff.

The Child Care Counts program, as it’s known, will cease to exist after the end of this year. Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) had wanted to make the program permanent — albeit at half the cost at $300 million in annual funds — but the Republican-dominated Joint Finance Committee rejected his proposal.

“I'm going to have to raise fees for the families. Because I am not going to be able to budget correctly to give the teachers that I have the quality pay that they need… I will have to cut my budgets, you know, my supplies, we won't be able to update any equipment,” Sunshine and Giggles daycare center owner Jenni Schrock told PBS Wisconsin.

“I mean, it's going to be a tight, tight goal of it without this money.”

Some childcare workers are considering a strike should the subsidy’s end become official.

PUSHBACK: Democratic leadership within the state, in turn, responded to such austerity. Wisconsin State Assembly minority leader Rep. Greta Neubauer (D-Racine) spoke out at an event last week against the cuts.

“We should be here today celebrating the continuation of one of the most essential programs that the state of Wisconsin has operated, Child Care Counts. But of course, instead, we are here because the Republican members of the Joint Finance Committee gutted this program and are going to leave the families of Wisconsin to fend for themselves,” Neubauer said to a crowd in front of the state capitol in Madison.

“And we are here because we are trying to make clear just how misguided this decision is. We're here because the Child Care Counts Programs matters. Our workforce depends on it. Our kids' well-being depends on it.”

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Jamie Larson