Final 10 cases of SCOTUS term include major decisions on Trump, J6 cases and social media censorship

The most anticipated decision will be in Trump v. United States, a case stemming from the J6 case brought by the Biden administration's Department of Justice against former President Donald Trump.

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Ten major case decisions remain before the Supreme Court, all of which are set to be released before the term comes to a close at the end of June. Many of these decisions will have major impacts on American society and jurisprudence.

Trump v. United States

The most anticipated decision will likely be Trump v. United States, a case stemming from the J6 case brought by the Biden administration's Department of Justice against former President Donald Trump, who is also running to unseat the attorney general's boss. The DOJ contends that after the 2020 election, which saw Biden as the president-elect, Trump "pursued unlawful means of discounting legitimate votes and subverting election results," thereby engaging in "three criminal conspiracies." 

The alleged conspiracies were: "a. A conspiracy to defraud the United States by using dishonesty, fraud, and deceit to impair, obstruct, and defeat the lawful federal government function by which the results of the presidential election are collected, counted, and certified by the federal government. b. A conspiracy to corruptly obstruct and impede the January 6 congressional proceeding at which the collected results of the presidential election are counted and certified; and c. A conspiracy against the right to vote and to have one's vote counted."

Trump brought a motion saying that his actions were undertaken under his official capacity as president, official presidential acts, and that he was immune from prosecution. He also argued that because Congress tried to impeach him for the very same things. The questions presented to the court were "I. Whether the doctrine of absolute presidential immunity includes immunity from criminal prosecution for a President's official acts i.e. those performed within the 'outer perimeter' of his official responsibility." and "II. Whether the Impeachment Judgement Clause... and principles of double jeopardy foreclose the criminal prosecution of a President who has been impeached and acquitted by the US Senate for the same and/or closely related conduct that underlies the criminal charges."

Fischer v. United States

In Fischer, a former Pennsylvania police officer who was at the Capitol Building on January 6, 2021, and was charged with seven counts. His case before the Supreme Court has to do with the third count, which stated that Fischer "attempted to, and did, corruptly obstruct, influence, and impede an official proceeding, that is, a proceeding before Congress, by entering and remaining in the United States Capitol without authority and committing an act of civil disorder and engaging in disorderly and disruptive conduct." Fischer's case asks whether the federal law that criminalizes obstruction of congressional inquiries and investigations can be used to prosecute protesters of the certification of the electoral votes for Joe Biden on that day. The case has broad ramifications in that this charge was filed against many of the over 1,300 Americans who were at arrested for being at the Capitol that day, and if the court rules that it was unconstitutional for Fischer to be charged, that could clear that charge for many other defendants as well.

Moyle v. United States

The issue in Moyle is whether or not Idaho's anti-abortion law is in conflict with federal requirements that hospitals must provide abortions in emergency cases. After Idaho criminalized most abortions, the state was sued by the Biden administration, under a law requiring any hospital that received federal funding must provide "necessary and stabilizing treatment" for "an emergency medical condition," including abortion, per the EMTALA, or the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act. Idaho said that their law already provides for abortion in the event that a mother's life is at risk and their law does not need to be expanded to cover additional health risks.

City of Grants Pass v. Johnson

This case will determine if a locality can make a law banning homeless people from sleeping in the street even when shelter space is not available. The Court previously ruled in 1962 it is "cruel and unusual punishment" to make it illegal to be addicted to drugs. Plaintiffs argue that homelessness, like drug addiction, is a condition the accused should not be punished for. A ruling will determine if cities can clear the homeless from the streets or if they must be allowed to set up camp wherever.

Moody v. NetChoice; NetChoice v. Paxton

A ruling in these two cases, out of Florida and Texas in regard to laws passed in these states, would determine whether social media giants can censor speech. The laws passed in these two states addressed complaints that platforms such as Facebook, TikTok, and YouTube censored speech from conservative users. The Supreme Court temporarily blocked Texas' law on the matter in 2022. The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals blocked Florida's version of the bill, which fines social media platforms for blocking politicians' posts, in 2021.

Murthy v. Missouri

In the case of Murthy, Republican attorneys general as well as social media users argued that Surgeon General Murthy and the Biden administration worked in coordination in order to pressure social media companies into taking down specific content related to Covid-19. The challengers contended that posts on Facebook, YouTube, and X had been suppressed due to government pressure on social media companies. They say the posts were censored in violation of the First Amendment. In 1963, the Supreme Court ruled in Bantam Books v Sullivan that informal and indirect efforts by the government to suppress speech can violate the First Amendment.

Harrington v. Purdue Pharma

The Purdue Pharma company was the maker of OxyContin, which was the prescription drug scourge of the nation prior to fentanyl. A previous ruling found the company liable for aiding the rampant overprescription and consumer drug abuse of the painkiller. The company paid billions, but the Sackler family behind the company were shielded from liability. This case will determine if a bankruptcy plan can legally be structured to protect a third party from being prosecuted civilly. 

Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo; Relentless v. Department of Commerce

These cases relate to the 40-year-old ruling in the case of Chevron USA v Natural Resources Defense Council, which stated that courts should "defer to an agency’s reasonable interpretation of an ambiguous statute." The two cases were filed in January in response to a rule issued by the National Marine Fisheries Service requiring the herring industry to pay the costs of observers on fishing boats. A ruling against Chevron, one of the most cited cases in American law, would overturn the decision and shift power from agencies to judges and Congress.

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Jarkesy

A ruling in the SEC case will determine whether the commission’s in-house administrative courts are lawful. A ruling against the SEC would require it to file cases in federal court and could affect administrative tribunals at other agencies including the Federal Trade Commission, the Internal Revenue Service, the Environmental Protection Agency, and others. George Jarkesy, who says he has been wrongly prosecuted by the SEC, is asking that the court rule that people facing civil fraud complaints from the SEC have the right to a jury trial in federal court under the Seventh Amendment.

Ohio v. Environmental Protection Agency

The Supreme Court in this case will rule on the Biden administration's "good neighbor" plan, and whether it should continue. The plan requires factories and power plants in the Midwest and West to cut air pollution that drifts eastward into other states through the prevailing winds. The Supreme Court in 2014 ruled in a separate case that an EPA regulation intended to cut down on cross-state pollution was permissible.

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