The past year was really something else. 2016 saw the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, the end of Merrick Garland’s Supreme Court dreams, the death of David Bowie. Not even Mariah Carey made it out unscathed. But, before we bid the year a final adieu (or good riddance), it’s worth looking back at the Supreme Court’s most important decisions. For, throughout all of 2016’s ups and downs, the Court continued to shape American law, government, and politics, with important rulings in the areas of criminal law, civil rights, immigration, and more. Here are our top six.
1. United States v. Texas, the end of Obama’s immigration reform plans
The President Obama’s immigration reform ended not with a bang, but a whimper. A deadlocked, eight-justice Supreme Court affirmed a Fifth Circuit ruling halting Obama’s Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents plan, or DAPA, which sought to create a path towards legal status for millions of immigrants. With the election of Donald Trump months later, the future for such immigrants has become increasingly uncertain.