The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a challenge to a Texas law that regulates abortion clinics. The regulations require facilities to meet the same building standards as certain surgical centers and require physicians who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at local hospitals. The challengers say the requirements are too strict and would cause many clinics that perform abortions, particularly in rural areas, to close.
NUMBER OF ABORTION PROVIDERS OPERATING IN TEXAS
* If the Supreme Court allows law to be fully implemented, according to challengers.
Source: Center for Reproductive Rights
STATES THAT HAVE ENACTED ABORTION REGULATIONS SIMILAR TO TEXAS
Note: More than 20 states in the U.S. have laws that require abortion providers meet the same building standards as surgical centers but not all are as stringent as Texas.
Admitting privileges: In effect in North Dakota but settled out of court with Red River Women's Clinic in 2014; Texas enjoined against two plaintiffs in the Whole Women's Health v. Cole lawsuit but the law is generally in effect.
ASC requirements: The laws are enacted in Tennessee and Virginia but not in effect. In the four other states where the law is in effect, abortion clinics are eligible to obtain waivers from the requirements, either in pursuant to the law or to a court order.
Source: Center for Reproductive Rights
Number of abortions
Note: Rate for women aged 15-44
Source: Guttmacher Institute
PERCENT OF COUNTIES WITHOUT A KNOWN ABORTION PROVIDER IN 2011
As of 2011, the Guttmacher Institute estimates that in 24 states, 90 percent or more counties do not have a known abortion provider.
Note: A provider is a hospital, clinic or physician's office where abortions are performed. A clinic is a non-hospital facility that reported 400 or more abortions a year, including abortion clinics and non-specialized clinics.
Source: Guttmacher Institute
The U.S. Supreme Court has decided to hear a case on whether religious non-profit groups should be fully exempt from a provision of the Affordable Care Act that requires employee insurance covering contraception.
Twenty eight states require insurers that cover prescription drugs to provide coverage of the full range of FDA-approved contraceptive drugs and devices.
Notes: Nevada does not exempt any employers but allows religious insurers to refuse coverage. Employers must be offered the option to include coverage of contraceptives within the health plan in Texas and Virginia.
LEADING CONTRACEPTIVE METHODS
Among women aged 15–44 who are currently using contraception, 2011–2013
Birth control pill
Most women using contraception choose oral contraceptives. Pills can be purchased at a drugstore or clinic with a prescription.
A medical provider closes or blocks a woman's fallopian tubes during sterilization. The process is meant to be a permanent form of birth control.
Condoms can be easily purchased over the counter and can be used to prevent sexually-transmitted diseases in addition to birth control.
IUDs or implants
Intrauterine devices are long-acting reversible contraceptive implants that are inserted into the uterus by a medical provider to prevent pregnancy.
The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to take up for the second time, a challenge to the University of Texas at Austin’s affirmative action policy. The case was brought by a white applicant named Abigail Fisher who was denied admission in 2008 to the University of Texas.
FRIENDS OF THE COURT
A look at the 84 amicus curiae briefs filed with the Supreme Court in support the university’s limited use of race in its admissions program to achieve diversity, the challengers who want no racial considerations, and advocates who take neither side in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin. Such amicus statements represent the views of people or organizations not directly tied to the case but who wish to advise on its broader legal ramifications.
In support of petitioner (Abigail Fisher)
In support of neither
In support of respondents (University of Texas at Austin)
MINORITY ENROLLMENT AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN
After the University of Texas stopped considering race in admissions in 1997, enrollment of minority students fell. The state tried to address the issue with a program guaranteeing admission to students in roughly the top 10 percent of their high school classes. Then in 2003, when the Supreme Court upheld the use of race as a factor in admissions in a University of Michigan case, Texas added a separate admissions policy that considers a variety of student characteristics including race.
Non-white domestic undergraduates as a percentage of total domestic undergraduates
DIVERSITY AT LEADING PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES
More than 52 percent of undergraduate students enrolled at the University of Texas at Austin are minorities, a close reflection of the state's non-white population which stands at about 57 percent. Here's a look at undergraduate minority enrollment at 33 other public U.S. universities which are members of the Association of American Universities (AAU)*
* The AAU consists of 62 public and private research universities in the U.S. and Canada; the University of Texas at Austin has been a member since 1929.
Note: Non-white students exclude students whose race is unknown or not specified. All non-white student data as of Fall 2014 except University of Florida, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, University of Texas at Austin and UCLA, which are as of Fall 2015. State population data as of 2014 U.S. Census Bureau population estimates.
WHAT HAPPENS IN A TIE-VOTE?
Justice Elena Kagan, who previously was U.S. solicitor general in the Obama administration when it was backing the Texas program in lower court litigation, has recused herself from the case. The remaining eight justices will decide it, raising the possibly of a 4-4 tie vote in the court.
A tie is rare — the most recent case that resulted in a 4-4 decision was Costco v. Omega in 2010. Justice Kagan also recused herself in that case.
In the event of a tie, a lower court’s ruling is affirmed. In this case, the Fifth Circuit ruled in favor of the University of Texas at Austin.
But while a tie vote upholds a lower court ruling in the case, it sets no new national precedent for other cases.
The U.S. Supreme Court will consider whether public employees who are not members of the public-sector union can be forced to pay fees that go toward collective bargaining, in a case involving a California teachers union that could reduce the influence of organized labor.
Union representation in the public sector
Percentage, 2010-2014 average
Right-to-work: Twenty-five states have right-to-work laws prohibiting provisions in collective bargaining agreements calling on workers to pay money to labor unions as a condition of employment.
Representation: Workers covered by a collective bargaining agreement.
Source: Data based on Union Membership and Coverage Database's analysis of labor force statistics from the Current Population Surveys (CPS).
THREE QUARTERS OF UNIONIZED PUBLIC SECTOR WORKERS ARE IN NON-RIGHT-TO-WORK STATES
Percentage of unionized public sector workers in right-to-work vs. non-right-to-work states, 2014
Union membership and representation
Public sector only
THE "AGENCY SHOP"
Most California public school teachers are members of the union but some elect not to join. The state’s “agency shop” law requires those who do not join the union to pay fees equivalent to union dues even though they are not members.
The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear President Barack Obama's bid to resurrect his plan to shield more than 4 million illegal immigrants from deportation, a unilateral executive action he took in 2014 to bypass the Republican-led Congress. Obama's action was blocked by lower courts after Texas and 25 other Republican-governed sued to stop it, contending he exceeded his presidential powers under the U.S. Constitution.
Number of illegal immigrants by state, 2012
The Pew Research Center estimates that there are more than 11 million illegal immigrants living in the United States. Most of them reside in California, Texas, Florida, New York and New Jersey.
Number of illegal immigrants living in the U.S.
NUMBER OF DEPORTATIONS BY FISCAL YEAR
DAPA v. DACA
President Barack Obama's executive orders, announced in November 2014 and put on hold by lower courts, consist of a new program called Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) and expansion of the existing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) plan. If permitted to take effect, DAPA would allow undocumented immigrants who are parents of either U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents to live and work in the U.S. without the threat of deportation. The DACA program related to children, in place since 2012, would protect a larger population of immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children if expanded. DACA applicants overwhelmingly come from Mexico. Other top countries of origin are El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.
An estimated 4.7 million undocumented immigrants who live in the U.S. will be newly protected if the president’s executive orders are enforced.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program by the numbers
Number of DACA applications accepted by state
Number DACA applications accepted
DACA APPLICANTS BY COUNTRY OF ORIGIN, TOP 10
Note: DACA data as of June 2015
* Twenty six states (Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Montana, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin) sued the United States to halt President Obama's executive orders on immigration. See opinion here
Note: Antonin Scalia died on February 13.
Sources: U.S. Supreme Court; Reuters; Guttmacher Institute; National Center for Health Statistics; Planned Parenthood; American Bar Association; University of Texas at Austin; U.S. Census Bureau; Association of American Universities (AAU); Reuters’ analysis of CDS data from 34 AAU public U.S. universities; Bureau of Labor Statistics, Department of Labor; Union Membership and Coverage Database, B. Hirsch and D. Macpherson; Department of Homeland Security; U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services; Migration Policy Institute; Pew Research Center; Warren and Warren (2013); U.S. Court of Appeals Fifth Circuit; Reuters
By Christine Chan, Matthew Weber, Joan Biskupic, Lawrence Hurley and Will Dunham | REUTERS GRAPHICS