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BREAKING: U.S. Supreme Court to Rule on Four Key Issues in the Coming Week


The U.S. Supreme Court is set to issue several major rulings in the upcoming week. These decisions will address key issues, including whether former President Donald Trump has extensive immunity for actions taken during his presidency, obstruction charges stemming from the January 6, 2021, breach of the U.S. Capitol, regulations governing social media, and the authority of federal agencies.

The high court tends to release all of its decisions for a term by the end of June, and only several days remain in the month. The justices have yet to release 14 cases for the term, which started in October 2023.

Federal Agency Power



The Supreme Court will rule on a 40-year doctrine known as the Chevron doctrine. The precedent dictates that courts should defer to executive branch agencies’ expertise when it comes to interpreting laws when Congress’s intent in passing the law is unclear.

Since the establishment of a 1984 doctrine, U.S. courts have granted significant discretion to agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in exercising the powers assigned to them by Congress to enforce the law.



Two small fishing companies have challenged that precedent, claiming that paying for a monitor on a herring boat required by the National Marine Fisheries Service amounted to onerous regulation. As the case illustrates, the ruling will affect not only the EPA and the SEC but also myriad other federal agencies.

During oral arguments earlier this year, the justices seemed split on a proposal to further restrict the regulatory powers of federal agencies. This dispute centers on a government-run program designed to monitor overfishing of herring off the coast of New England.

Lower court rulings have permitted the National Marine Fisheries Service to mandate that commercial fishermen contribute financially to the program. However, two fishing companies—Loper Bright Enterprises from New Jersey and Relentless Inc. from Rhode Island—contend that Congress did not grant the agency, which is part of the Commerce Department, the authority to create this program.

Trump Immunity Case

Another case expected to be ruled on this week involves former President Trump, who argued for immunity concerning his actions after the 2020 election, which he claimed were to address election fraud. Last year, Special Counsel Jack Smith charged Trump with conspiracy to undermine the 2020 election results, and Trump has appealed this case to the Supreme Court.


During arguments, the justices appeared skeptical of the Trump attorneys’ arguments that he should be fully immune from prosecution. But some of the justices seemed inclined to carve out some immunity for presidents. Several justices offered warnings that all future former presidents could be prosecuted by their successors if immunity is not upheld.

The appeal has postponed the criminal case in Washington against former President Trump regarding the January 6, 2021, Capitol breach. Trump has pleaded not guilty to these charges.

Abortion

Although the Supreme Court has already ruled on a challenge to the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of an abortion-related drug, it is now set to issue an order on whether emergency rooms in Idaho can perform abortions on pregnant women during emergencies.


Under the 2022 Idaho Defense of Life Act law, abortion is banned under all circumstances unless it is “necessary to prevent the death of the pregnant woman.”

The Biden administration has challenged the mandate, arguing that it conflicts with the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act, which requires emergency room doctors to stabilize patients.

January 6 Obstruction Clause


The Supreme Court is set to rule on an obstruction statute that could impact the Department of Justice’s prosecution of individuals involved in the January 6, 2021, Capitol breach. Joseph Fischer, one of the charged individuals, has filed a lawsuit challenging the statute, which criminalizes “corruptly obstructing, influencing, or impeding” an official proceeding.

In April, a number of the justices were skeptical of how the statute was being applied in Mr. Fischer’s case.


During a congressional hearing this month, Attorney General Merrick Garland indicated that he might consider dropping cases against January 6 defendants charged under the contested obstruction statute.

“We respect the Supreme Court,” he said. “Whatever the court rules, we will act appropriately.”

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