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By Mae Slater on
 June 10, 2024

Supreme Court To Decide Major Cases Before Summer Recess

The Supreme Court is readying itself for critical decisions on several high-stakes cases before closing its 2023 term, with the institution's credibility presently under public examination.

Axios reported that these upcoming rulings encompass issues related to presidential immunity, abortion rights, the reach of federal agencies, and gun regulations. The end of the Supreme Court’s 2023 term approaches with several crucial decisions still unresolved.

These pending cases touch upon former President Trump's immunity from prosecution, abortion rights, executive branch authority, and gun rights legislation.

Decisions already made this term have tackled matters involving the National Rifle Association, racial gerrymandering, and the eligibility of former President Donald Trump for the Colorado primary ballot post the January 6 Capitol riot. The spotlight now turns to unresolved issues, pivotal for both legal precedence and national governance.

A key unresolved question pertains to the potential immunity of Trump for actions taken while in office. Should the Supreme Court side with Trump, it would bear significant consequences on his ongoing federal cases linked to efforts to overturn the 2020 election and the mishandling of classified documents.

During oral arguments in April, indications suggested that Trump might secure at least a partial victory.

Trump's Immunity and January 6 Charges

In addition to examining Trump’s immunity, the court also faces the task of determining whether a federal obstruction statute can be used to charge individuals involved in the January 6 riot. This statute, part of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, is typically applied to impede official proceedings. One defendant, Joseph Fischer, contends that the statute should be confined to congressional inquiries. Should the court rule in Fischer’s favor, it might not only lessen charges against Trump but also affect hundreds of other Capitol riot prosecutions.

Another significant case on the docket involves the abortion drug mifepristone, scrutinizing recent decisions by the Food and Drug Administration to broaden its accessibility. The outcome of this case could substantially influence both the availability of medication abortions and the FDA's broader regulatory authority. With nearly two-thirds of all U.S. abortions in 2023 using mifepristone, the stakes are high.

In yet another abortion-related case, the court must examine the compatibility of Idaho’s stringent state abortion ban with federal emergency care mandates under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA).

Idaho’s law permits abortions only in life-saving situations, a restriction which the Justice Department criticizes as being far too narrow. The Department believes this state exception conflicts with federal requirements to provide emergency care.

Additionally, the durability of the "Chevron deference," a doctrine that grants federal agencies significant interpretative latitude in implementing laws, is under scrutiny.

Overturning this doctrine could transfer more interpretative authority to the courts, thereby diminishing the executive branch’s regulatory power. This potential shift could drastically alter the landscape of federal regulations across multiple sectors including environmental and healthcare policies.

The Supreme Court will also deliberate on U.S. v. Rahimi, a case determining whether firearm bans based on restraining orders infringe upon Second Amendment rights. Furthermore, in Garland v. Cargill, the court will decide on the legality of the Trump administration's ban on bump stocks for semiautomatic guns.

The scrutiny of the Supreme Court extends beyond legal circles, especially as it navigates these contentious issues while being under the public eye for its credibility and impartiality.


In conclusion, the Supreme Court faces a significant workload as it nears the end of its 2023 term.

Key decisions pending include those on Trump’s potential immunity from prosecution, abortion rights involving mifepristone and federal emergency care laws, executive branch regulatory powers, and gun rights linked to both restraining orders and bump stocks. Each of these rulings carries substantial implications, not just legally, but for the public’s view of the Supreme Court’s role and reliability.

Written By:
Mae Slater

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