The Supreme Court is nearing the end of its term. Here are the major cases it still has to decide.

The Supreme Court is nearing the end of its term. Here are the major cases it still has to decide.

Washington — The Supreme Court has wrapped up arguments for its current term and until around the end of June, it will be handing down opinions for the remaining cases, among them, over a dozen involving hot-button issues including abortion, guns, homelessness, Purdue Pharma’s bankruptcy plan and the prosecution of former President Donald Trump.

This term, which began in October 2023, follows two in which the Supreme Court handed down consequential decisions unwinding the constitutional right to abortion and bringing to an end affirmative action in higher education. The justices kicked off this latest slate of cases with several involving administrative law and online speech. But it was a pair of disputes involving Trump that captured widespread attention and thrust the justices into the center of legal battles with high stakes for the former president as he mounts a bid to return to the White House.

The court has already decided one of the cases involving the presumptive Republican presidential nominee: whether Colorado could keep him off the 2024 ballot using a Civil War-era provision of the 14th Amendment. The high court ruled in March that states cannot disqualify Trump from holding the presidency under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment and allowed him to stay on the ballot.

former president is entitled to sweeping immunity from criminal prosecution for allegedly official acts taken while in the White House. Trump has argued that he cannot be criminally charged for his alleged efforts to subvert the transfer of presidential power after the 2020 election.

The decision by the Supreme Court will impact special counsel Jack Smith’s case against Trump in Washington, D.C., where the former president has pleaded not guilty to the four charges he is facing. But a ruling could also have consequences for two other cases involving Trump: One, also brought by Smith, in South Florida involving Trump’s alleged mishandling of classified documents; and a second brought by prosecutors in Fulton County, Georgia, related to Trump’s alleged efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election in the state. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

During arguments in April, the last of the term, the Supreme Court seemed likely to recognize that former presidents are entitled to some level of immunity from federal prosecution for acts undertaken while in the White House. But the justices expressed skepticism toward Trump’s claim that he is absolutely immune from criminal prosecution.


FDA v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine and Danco Laboratories, LLC v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine

Argued March 26

Less than two years after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the issue of abortion returned to the high court. This case involves access to the widely used abortion pill mifepristone and whether the Food and Drug Administration acted unlawfully when it relaxed the rules for the drug’s use in 2016 and 2021.

The challenge was brought by a group of anti-abortion rights doctors and medical associations who claimed the agency went too far when it made the changes that made mifepristone easier to obtain. 

During arguments, the justices seemed inclined to maintain access to the drug. Several expressed skepticism that the medical groups and physicians had the legal right to sue, a concept known as standing. If a majority of the court finds that the challengers do not have legal standing to bring the lawsuit, it would order the case to be dismissed.  

Moyle v. United States and Idaho v. United States

Argued April 24

This pair of cases involves the interplay between Idaho’s near-total ban on abortion and a federal law that requires Medicare-participating hospitals to provide necessary stabilizing treatment to a mother whose health is at serious risk.

The Biden administration has argued that in certain circumstances, that stabilizing treatment will be abortion care. But Idaho lawmakers have said that the administration is using the law, called the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act, or EMTALA, to invalidate state abortion restrictions enacted after Roe’s reversal.

The justices appeared divided during arguments over whether federal law requires physicians in states with stringent abortion bans to offer pregnancy terminations in certain medical emergencies.

Social media and the First Amendment

Moody v. NetChoice, LLC, and NetChoice, LLC, v. Paxton

Argued Feb. 26

The two cases involve similar laws enacted in Florida and Texas that impose rules on social media companies and their content-moderation policies. Enacted in 2021, the Florida and Texas laws came in response to claims by Republicans that social media companies were silencing conservative viewpoints. 

At issue in the challenges, brought by Internet trade associations, is whether the states’ restrictions on the social media companies violate the First Amendment. The justices heard arguments in February, during which they seemed skeptical that the Constitution allows states to regulate how the companies make decisions about the content posted to their platforms.

Murthy v. Missouri

Argued March 18

In another clash involving the First Amendment and social media, the Supreme Court weighed whether the Biden administration violated the free speech rights of a group of social media users when it pressured platforms to remove content it believed spread misinformation about the 2020 election and COVID-19 pandemic.

The dispute tests how far federal officials can go to push platforms to take down or suppress posts before crossing a constitutional line. When the justices heard the case in March, several appeared wary of curtailing the administration’s contacts with platforms and raised concerns about hampering officials’ ability to communicate with social media companies about certain issues.

The regulatory power of federal agencies

Loper Bright Enterprises, Inc. v. Raimondo and Relentless, Inc. v. Department of Commerce

Argued Jan. 17

In a major challenge to the power of federal agencies, these two cases call on the Supreme Court to overrule its 1984 decision in Chevron v. National Resources Defense Council. That case laid out the framework, known as Chevron deference, that requires judges to defer to an agency’s interpretation of ambiguous statutes if it is reasonable.

The 40-year-old decision has long been a target of the conservative legal movement, which has argued that it gives federal officials too much power in crafting regulations that affect areas like the environment, public health and the workplace.

The justices heard arguments in January, during which the court’s conservative majority seemed open to curtailing agencies’ ability to interpret laws passed by Congress.

Garland v. Cargill

Argued Feb. 28

A ban on bump stocks implemented during the Trump administration is at the center of this dispute, brought by a Texas man who was forced to surrender his devices to comply with the restriction. The case does not involve the Second Amendment, but rather whether the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives could outlaw bump stocks.

Bump stocks are attachments to semi-automatic rifles that speed up their rate of fire. Following the 2017 mass shooting at a music festival in Las Vegas, where the shooter used semi-automatic weapons outfitted with bump stocks, ATF issued a rule finding that a rifle equipped with the device qualifies as a machine gun, as defined under federal law. Machine guns have been largely banned since 1986.

The justices heard arguments in the case in February and grappled with whether to leave the ban on bump stocks in place.

Obstruction charge for Jan. 6 defendants

Fischer v. U.S.

Argued April 16

More than 1,300 people have been charged in connection with the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the U.S. Capitol, and of those, more than 350 are accused of violating a federal law that makes it a crime to “corruptly” obstruct or impede an official proceeding. 

But the Justice Department’s use of that law is now under scrutiny from the Supreme Court, which is considering whether federal prosecutors can apply the obstruction law, passed in the wake of the Enron scandal, to the Jan. 6 attack.

The outcome of the case could affect the Jan. 6 defendants who have already been convicted of the obstruction offense or pleaded guilty, as a decision rejecting prosecutors’ broad reading of the measure could lead to new trials or lighter sentences. The ruling could also impact the federal prosecution of Trump in Washington, D.C., as he is charged with one count of obstructing an official proceeding — Congress’ counting of Electoral College votes — and one count of conspiring to obstruct the proceeding, as well as two other charges. 

Trump has pleaded not guilty to all four counts. 

During arguments in April, the court appeared divided over prosecutors’ use of the obstruction statute. 

Funding for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau v. Community Financial Services Association

Argued Oct. 3

On the second day of the term, the Supreme Court heard a case challenging the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s funding mechanism.

The question in the legal battle is whether the way in which the CFPB receives its funding violates the Constitution’s Appropriations Clause. The dispute is one of several that has been brought since the CFPB’s creation in 2010 that has sought to weaken the agency.

But during the arguments, several of the justices expressed skepticism that the CFPB’s funding mechanism is unconstitutional.

Federal firearms prohibition for alleged domestic abusers

United States v. Rahimi

Argued Nov. 7

This case presented the Supreme Court with its first opportunity to clarify its June 2022 decision that expanded the scope of the Second Amendment. In that ruling in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen, the justices laid out a new standard which says gun laws must fit with the nation’s history and tradition of firearms regulation to pass constitutional muster. To demonstrate that, the government must put forth laws that are analogous to the modern-day measure at issue.

This dispute involves a 1994 law that prohibits people subject to domestic violence restraining orders from having guns. A federal appeals court struck down the 30-year-old law under the Supreme Court’s new test, and the justices considered whether the prohibition violates the Second Amendment.

The justices appeared inclined to leave in place the law stripping alleged domestic abusers of their firearms, and several suggested that those deemed dangerous to society could be disarmed.

Racial gerrymandering

Alexander v. South Carolina Conference of the NAACP

Argued Oct. 11

At issue in this case are the lines of South Carolina’s Congressional District 1, which a lower court struck down as an unconstitutional racial gerrymander.

The district, represented by GOP Rep. Nancy Mace, was redrawn after the 2020 Census to produce a safer Republican district. To achieve that goal, state GOP officials moved more than 30,000 Black voters from Congressional District 1 into a neighboring district. 

The Supreme Court weighed whether race or politics was the predominant factor during the mapmaking process, though the conservative justices appeared likely to leave the GOP-drawn lines intact.

Purdue Pharma’s bankruptcy plan

Harrington v. Purdue Pharma

Argued Dec. 4

This court fight arose from a bankruptcy plan for Purdue Pharma, which shields the Sackler family from civil lawsuits stemming from the opioid crisis. The Sacklers owned and operated Purdue during the height of the opioid epidemic, and after Purdue filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2019, the family agreed to contribute $6 billion for abatement of the opioid crisis in exchange for the legal shield.

The bankruptcy plan was approved by 95% of victims, but several states, Canadian municipalities and a smaller group of individuals opposed it because of the protections for the Sacklers. The case involves whether those dissenters should be bound by the releases and therefore unable to pursue their own opioid-related lawsuits against the Sacklers, who never filed for bankruptcy protection.

The Justice Department objects to Purdue’s bankruptcy plan and has argued that the so-called third party releases are not allowed under federal bankruptcy code.

Some of the justices during arguments raised concerns about the consequences of a decision unraveling Purdue’s bankruptcy agreement, especially for victims and their family members who stand to benefit from it. Others, meanwhile, noted that the plan deprives the holdouts of the ability to hold the Sacklers accountable in civil court, and said the family is benefitting from bankruptcy protection without ever declaring bankruptcy.

A provision of Trump’s tax reform package

Moore v. U.S.

Argued Dec. 5

This case involves a challenge to an obscure provision of Republicans’ sweeping tax reform package signed into law by Trump in 2017. The mandatory repatriation tax is a one-time tax targeting U.S. taxpayers who hold shares of certain foreign corporations and requires them to pay a levy on their proportionate share of the company’s earnings.

The tax was projected to generate roughly $340 billion in revenue over 10 years. A couple from Washington state challenged the tax as impermissible under the 16th Amendment, but the Supreme Court appeared likely to leave it in place.

EPA rule for addressing harmful smog

Ohio v. EPA; Kinder Morgan, Inc. v. EPA; America Forest and Paper Association v. EPA; and U.S. Steel Corp v. EPA

Argued Feb. 21

In these cases, which were heard together, the court is considering whether to halt an environmental rule from the Biden administration that aims to curb air pollution and address harmful smog that travels from certain states into others.

The dispute stems from a plan announced by the EPA in 2023 that established an emissions-control program for large industrial sources like power plants and factories in 23 states. The EPA said emissions from those facilities were contributing significantly to smog pollution in downwind states.

Three GOP-led states, energy companies and industry groups challenged the initiative, and the Supreme Court seemed likely to halt the “good neighbor” rule during arguments in February.

Anti-camping ordinances

City of Grants Pass v. Johnson

Argued April 22

Arising out of an Oregon city’s ordinances banning public camping, the case raises whether it’s a violation of the Eighth Amendment’s protection against cruel and unusual punishment to punish homeless people with civil citations for camping on public property when they have nowhere else to go.

The dispute is the most significant involving homelessness to come before the Supreme Court in decades, and the outcome could impact how cities and states respond to high rates of homelessness as encampments pop up on public property.

The justices weighed the constitutionality of anti-camping laws during arguments in April and appeared divided over whether the city of Grants Pass went too far with its rules.