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Supreme Court to Rule on Trump Immunity and Final Cases

The Supreme Court is set to release its final opinions of the term addressing whether former President Donald Trump can claim immunity from federal election subversion charges.

Although missing their unofficial end-of-June deadline by just one day, the nine justices will convene for the last time before their summer break, likely prompting a series of legal battles over their final decisions.

The most significant pending case concerns whether Trump is entitled to the extensive immunity he seeks from special counsel Jack Smith's election subversion charges.

Trump argues that without immunity, presidents would be restricted in office, fearing prosecution after leaving the White House. This stance seemed to resonate with the 6-3 conservative Supreme Court during April's oral arguments.

The outcome could have significant consequences for Trump and future presidents. During a CNN debate, Trump accused President Joe Biden of potentially being "a convicted felon with all of the things he’s done" when asked by CNN's Jake Tapper about seeking retribution against political opponents. Trump initially responded that his "retribution is going to be success" but then attacked Biden with several accusations.

The immunity case hinges on whether Trump’s post-election actions were "official" presidential duties or "private" actions, which likely wouldn’t receive immunity.

The court will also rule on two cases involving the First Amendment and social media. The cases challenge laws in Florida and Texas designed to prevent social media giants like Facebook and X from censoring conservative views. These laws prohibit platforms from removing or demoting political content posts.

Republican governors who enacted these laws argue they are necessary to prevent discrimination against conservatives on social media.

While the initial dispute has lost some relevance since Elon Musk changed X’s content moderation policies, the case still raises crucial First Amendment questions that could have widespread effects.

Key to both cases is whether curating posts counts as protected speech, similar to how news outlets are protected in their editorial choices, or if social media platforms are merely conduits for third-party content, allowing for government regulation.

Another case involves a North Dakota truck stop challenging debit card transaction fees, which could impact other government regulations. The Supreme Court will decide if the truck stop can sue, given a six-year statute of limitations on contesting government rules.

This technical issue has significant implications. The federal government warns that siding with the truck stop could lead to numerous challenges to government regulations.

This term has also seen the Supreme Court avoiding major questions in two important abortion cases, supporting the Biden administration on one gun regulation, and overturning a federal bump stock ban. On Friday, the court narrowed a charge against hundreds involved in the January 6 Capitol attack.

Aside from decisions, the term was marked by off-bench controversies, including stories about controversial flags, such as an upside-down US flag flown at properties owned by Justice Samuel Alito. An activist posing as a religious conservative at a Supreme Court event released secret recordings of Alito and Chief Justice John Roberts discussing politically sensitive topics.

In an unprecedented breach, the court accidentally posted a draft opinion in a major abortion case a day early, temporarily blocking Idaho's strict abortion ban in emergency health situations while litigation continues.


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