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SCOTUS Has Lots of Work, Little Time   06/12 06:16

   The Supreme Court is headed into its final few weeks with nearly half of the 
cases heard this year still undecided, including ones that could reshape the 
law on everything from guns to abortion to social media. 

   WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court is headed into its final few weeks with 
nearly half of the cases heard this year still undecided, including ones that 
could reshape the law on everything from guns to abortion to social media. The 
justices are also still weighing whether former President Donald Trump is 
immune from criminal prosecution in the election interference case against him, 
more than a month after hearing arguments.

   The court heard 61 cases this term and 29 remain unresolved, with some 
decisions expected Thursday and Friday.

   Here's a look at some of the major undecided cases:

   Presidential immunity

   Donald Trump is arguing that former presidents are immune from prosecution 
for official acts they took in office and that the indictment he faces on 
charges of election interference must be dismissed.

   The Supreme Court has previously ruled that former presidents can't be sued 
in civil cases for what they did in office, but it has never weighed in on 
criminal immunity.

   The timing of the decision may be as important as the outcome. Trump's trial 
in Washington, D.C., may not take place before the November election, even if 
the court rules he is not immune.

   Jan. 6, 2021

   A former Pennsylvania police officer is challenging the validity of 
obstruction charges brought against hundreds of people who took part in the 
violent assault on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Trump faces the same charge of 
obstructing an official proceeding.

   The issue is whether a law meant to discourage tampering with documents 
sought in investigations can be used against the Capitol rioters.

   Abortion pill

   Abortion opponents are trying to make it harder for pregnant women to obtain 
medication abortions. They want the Supreme Court to roll back changes made by 
the FDA that have made it easier to obtain mifepristone, one of the two drugs 
used in nearly two-thirds of abortions in the United States last year. Those 
include eliminating the need for in-person visits and allowing the drug to be 
mailed.

   Most Republican-led states have severely restricted or banned abortion since 
the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022. The high court's decision in 
this case will affect abortion even in states where it remains legal.

   Guns

   The justices are weighing whether to uphold a federal law that seeks to 
protect domestic violence victims by keeping guns away from the people alleged 
to have abused them. An appeals court struck down a law that prohibits people 
under domestic violence restraining orders from possessing firearms. That court 
found that the law violated the 2nd Amendment right to "keep and bear arms" 
following the Supreme Court's 2022 ruling that expanded gun rights and changed 
how courts are supposed to evaluate gun restrictions.

   Homelessness

   The most significant Supreme Court case in decades on homelessness centers 
on whether people can be banned from sleeping outdoors when shelter space is 
lacking.

   A San Francisco-based appeals court decision said that amounts to cruel and 
unusual punishment.

   Leaders from California and across the West say that the ruling makes it 
harder for them to regulate homeless encampments encroaching on sidewalks and 
other public places.

   Advocates say it would criminalize homelessness just as rising costs have 
pushed the number of people without a permanent place to live to record levels.

   Emergency Abortion

   There's a second abortion case on the docket this year: whether doctors can 
provide that medical procedure in emergencies in states that banned abortion 
after the court overturned Roe v. Wade.

   In a case out of Idaho, the Biden administration says abortions must be 
allowed in emergencies where a woman's health is at serious risk.

   The state argues that its strict abortion ban does allow abortions to save a 
woman's life, and doesn't need to expand exceptions for health risks.

   Bump stocks

   The Trump administration banned bump stocks, a gun accessory that allows 
rapid fire like a machine gun, after they were used in the deadliest mass 
shooting in modern U.S. history.

   The ban is being challenged by a Texas gun shop owner who says the Justice 
Department was wrong to reverse course and declare them illegal machine guns 
after the 2017 Las Vegas massacre.

   The Biden administration argues banning them after the shooting that left 60 
people dead was the right call.

   Chevron

   The justices could overturn a 40-year-old decision that has been cited 
thousands of times in federal court cases and used to uphold regulations on the 
environment, public health, workplace safety and consumer protections. The 
decision colloquially known as Chevron calls on judges to defer to federal 
regulators when the words of a statute are not crystal clear. The decision has 
long been targeted by conservative and business interests who say Chevron robs 
judges of their authority and gives too much power to regulators.

   Social media

   Three cases remain unresolved at the intersection of social media and 
government.

   Two cases involve social media laws in Texas and Florida that would limit 
how Facebook, TikTok, X, YouTube and other social media platforms regulate 
content posted by their users. While the details vary, both laws aimed to 
address conservative complaints that the social media companies were 
liberal-leaning and censored users based on their viewpoints, especially on the 
political right.

   In the third case, Republican-led states are suing the Biden administration 
over how far the federal government can go to combat controversial social media 
posts on topics including COVID-19 and election security. A federal appeals 
court sided with the states in finding that administration officials 
unconstitutionally coerced the platforms to limit conservative points of view.

   Purdue Pharma

   The Supreme Court controls the fate of a nationwide settlement with 
OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma that would allocate billions of dollars to combat 
the opioid epidemic, but also provide a legal shield for members of the Sackler 
family who own the company. The settlement has been on hold since last summer 
after the Supreme Court agreed to weigh in.

   Wealth tax

   A business-backed challenge to a tax on foreign income is being watched 
closely for what it might say about the fate of a wealth tax, an often 
discussed but never implemented tax on the wealthiest Americans.

   Air pollution

   Republican-led, energy-producing states and the steel industry want the 
court to put the Environmental Protection Agency's air pollution-fighting "good 
neighbor" plan on hold while legal challenges continue. The plan aims to 
protect downwind states that receive unwanted air pollution from other states.

   SEC

   Another important regulatory case could strip the SEC of a major tool in 
fighting securities fraud and have far-reaching effects on other regulatory 
agencies. The court is being asked to rule that people facing civil fraud 
complaints have the right to a jury trial in federal court.

 
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