The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday for two bills designed to prevent children from riding in cars while others are in the backseat.
The bills, the SAFE Act and the CAR Seat Laws, would both require manufacturers to add safety features to cars with seats that fit under a child’s seat.
Both proposals were introduced in 2017 by Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.
Va., and would allow children to use the seat belts in backseat seats and in the front seats of their cars.
The legislation has been in the works for about a year and would likely go before the Supreme Court for a vote sometime this year.
The Supreme Court is also weighing a challenge to a key provision of the Affordable Care Act, known as Section 6, which prohibits insurance companies from denying coverage to anyone with a preexisting condition.
The challengers argue that the law’s requirements to provide coverage are too onerous, and could result in coverage for many Americans without insurance.
The justices have been divided over whether Section 6 is constitutional.
In its recent ruling, the court ruled that the requirement to provide health insurance violates the First Amendment.
“The Act’s requirement to make coverage available to all individuals does not substantially burden the right to free speech,” the court wrote.
“Thus, it is not necessary that the statute impose an undue burden on free speech.”
The justices also ruled that a child could not be in the rear seat of a car without his parents or guardian’s consent, even if the child is in the vehicle with the driver.
The car seat legislation, known by its abbreviation SBA, would require manufacturers of new car seats and booster seats to include seatbelts that fit into a childs head.
Manufacturers would also have to make safety upgrades that can be easily changed without requiring the consent of the child.
The CAR Seat Law would require car seats to have a small, movable, safety belt in front of the childrens head, which would be held in place by straps on the rear or side of the seat.
The law would also require that the straps be secured to the childs shoulders.
The SAFE Bill would ban manufacturers from requiring children to wear seatbelters in the car seats.
The bill was introduced by Rep. Joe Donnelly, D, Ind., and the SAFe Bill by Rep., Joe Manchaca, D.W. Va., and Rep., Karen Handel, R-Ala.
Both bills were introduced by Sen.(D-Wis.), who is currently running for reelection to a fourth term.
The two bills were co-sponsored by Sen., John Barrasso, R, Wyo., and Sen., Lisa Murkowski, R.
The Senate is expected to vote on the bills later this week.
Updated at 8:52 a.m. ET