May 20 (UPI) -- Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch joined liberal justices in a 5-4 decision upholding hunting rights for Native Americans in Wyoming under a 19th-century treaty signed before it became a state.
The case involved Clayvin Herrera, a member of the Crow tribe, who faced charges for off-season hunting in Wyoming's Bighorn National Forest.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote in the majority opinion that there was no evidence the 1868-signed treaty giving the tribe hunting rights expired with statehood.
In another case, the court asked the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to review its prior ruling allowing for legal challenges against a Merck & Co. The drugmaker faced hundreds of lawsuits over its osteoporosis drug Fosamax.
The lawsuits accused Merck of failing to follow state law by not including a warning on the drug label that it caused thigh-bone fractures soon enough. Merck argued that it tried to add a warning, but it was rejected in 2008 by the Food and Drug Administration.
In a third case, the Supreme Court declined to issue any opinions or orders on restrictive abortion bills after deliberating on two Indiana cases that regulated fetal disposals and outlawed the procedure for genetic disorders.
New state-level abortion legislation has drawn attention over the past several months with Georgia and Alabama passing some of the most restrictive measures in the country in hopes of prodding the Supreme Court to reverse 1973's Roe vs. Wade.
One of the most high-profile issues before the high court this session is whether the Trump administration will be allowed to ask residents whether they're legal U.S. residents in the 2020 census. The court heard arguments on the issue last month, and appeared split.
Some justices challenged whether the question would lead to an inaccurate count because undocumented immigrants may be reluctant to complete the census. Others believe the government is well within its right to ask. The question hasn't been part of any census since 1950.
The court is expected to rule on the matter in the near future, since the Census Bureau is trying to meet a printing schedule.
Justices also could rule this week on two issues involving race -- gerrymandering and jury selection.
In Virginia's House of Delegates vs. Bethune Hill, justices could decide whether the state's legislature violated the Voters Rights Act by compacting African Americans in 11 districts.
In Flower vs. Mississippi, the court is expected to rule on an allegation by a man who said he didn't get a fair trial because nearly all African Americans were eliminated from the jury pool.
The court will also rule on when religious symbols can be displayed on public land. The issue is brought to the fore due to a Maryland case that centers on a large Latin cross on government property that honors World War I veterans.