Democrats are nervous about several major Supreme Court cases coming up over the next few months

 February 23, 2024

There are a handful of important Supreme Court cases in which oral arguments will be heard over the next two months that have some Democrats growing rather frantic about how the justices may ultimately rule.

Those cases run a gamut of various issues that include abortion, climate regulations, gun control, and social media censorship, Utah's Deseret News reported.

Left unmentioned by that outlet, but arguably just as consequential, is a case that involves hundreds of Jan. 6 Capitol riot defendants and the prosecution of former President Donald Trump, as well as another case that involves a government official threatening consequences against entities in a state that associate with a perfectly legal but otherwise despised national organization that protects fundamental individual rights.

EPA pollution regulations and FDA's abortion pills rule changes

The first case on the list is Ohio v. EPA, which was consolidated with three other similar challenges against an Environmental Protection Agency pollution rule that was imposed unilaterally by the federal agency on a handful of states without consideration of the objections of those and other states.

The key question at issue is whether the EPA's rule can be allowed to go into effect despite the multiple challenges against it from a collection of states, impacted industries, and trade associations. Arguments were heard on Wednesday, and SCOTUSblog reported that based on the questions and comments posed by the conservative-leaning majority, it seems likely that the court will ultimately rule later this summer to keep the EPA's rule blocked until the legal challenges have run their course in the lower courts.

Another huge case that will be heard in March is that of the Food and Drug Administration v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, which is consolidated with a similar case involving Danco Laboratories and deals with a challenge against the FDA's prior rule changes in 2016 and 2021 to unilaterally expand the availability and ease of access to abortion-inducing medications.

Social media censorship

Coming up next week are the consolidated cases of Moody v. Netchoice and Netchoice v. Paxton, which deal with similar laws passed in recent years by Florida and Texas, respectively, that seek to regulate how social media companies moderate content, particularly with an eye toward censorship of conservative and independent and non-leftist users and viewpoints.

The high court most likely picked up those cases because of a split at the appeals court level, given how the 11th Circuit ruled against the Florida law but the 5th Circuit ruled largely in favor of the Texas law, per SCOTUSblog.

There is another social media censorship case on the Supreme Court's docket for March as well, known as Murthy v. Missouri, in which a district court -- upheld by the 5th Circuit -- barred certain entities and officials within the Biden administration from communicating with various social media platforms to censor critical speech related to the pandemic, including lockdowns and vaccines, and other political issues the administration disagrees with.

Gun control on the docket

Another big case that will be heard next week is Garland v. Cargill, which challenges the so-called "bump stock" ban imposed during the Trump administration -- in the wake of the 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada -- and disputes the ATF's classification of the bump stock devices, which exploits recoil to increase the rate of fire of semi-automatic rifles, as a highly regulated "machinegun."

Not mentioned by Deseret News, but no less important and related to the ideological left's incessant efforts to infringe upon both the Second and First Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, is the case of National Rifle Association of America v. Vullo that will be heard in March.

That case involves a New York government official who was sued for violating the NRA's freedom of speech and association after that official was found to have threatened financial consequences against banks and insurance companies unless they severed all ties with the national gun rights organization.

Major case involving questionable charge against Jan. 6 defendants, Trump

Finally, and also unmentioned by Deseret News, is the case of Fischer v. United States, which will be heard in April and involves a Jan. 6 Capitol riot defendant who has challenged the government's dubious application of a particular obstruction statute, 18 U.S.C. § 1512(c), that was originally intended for white-collar financial crimes but has been used against hundreds of Jan. 6 protesters and rioters.

That same statute has also been employed by Special Counsel Jack Smith as two of the four charges in his election-related prosecution of former President Trump, and those charges against Trump, as well as the hundreds of Jan. 6 defendants already convicted or awaiting trial on that same charge, could be summarily dropped if the Supreme Court upholds a lower court ruling in favor of Fischer.

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