Two Supreme Court decisions in the United States in the past week on two of the most divisive issues in America abortion and gun rights.
There was also a bipartisan bill passed in Congress and signed by President Biden aimed at keeping guns out of the hands of people who are a threat to themselves and others.
To look at these decisions on abortion and gun control, and what they mean for America, we are pleased to welcome to the program tonight Katherine Gypson, Congressional Correspondent for Voice of America.
Q1. The Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that recognized a constitutional right to abortion. Though they may support the right to abortion, even many liberal legal scholars concede that the reasoning of Roe v. Wade is questionable in that particular respect. Now, laws on abortion go back to the states. What was the basic reasoning of the court this time, and how many states are now likely to restrict abortion?
Q2. When might the Supreme Court agree to hear such a case again, and why? Is this now an issue for state-level politics or could there one day be a federal solution?
Q3. The Supreme Court also last week also struck down a law in New York that required people to have a special need if they wanted to carry a handgun outside of the home. Many big cities in the U.S. have strict rules on carrying handguns, so these rules could could be at risk. The Court's opinion was that an American cannot be made to show the government a special need to exercise a guaranteed right, like having a gun. Could you explain the Court's decision in how it relates to the Constitution?
Q4. The bill passed by Congress last week strengthens background checks for younger gun buyers. It goes farther to ban gun ownership for people with records of domestic violence. But gun rights are written in the U.S. Constitution, and Congress can only go so far because of the way the federal system is decentralized. What would have to happen to fundamentally change the situation? A Constitutional amendment?