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14 cases remain for US Supreme Court

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The religious rights of corporations, the speech rights of abortion protesters and the privacy rights of people under arrest are among the big issues still unresolved at the Supreme Court of the United States.

Summer travel, European teaching gigs and relaxation beckon, but only after the court hands down decisions in all the cases it has heard since October.

In rare instances, the justices will put off decisions and order a case to be argued again in the next term.

This is also the time of the year when a justice could announce a retirement. But the oldest of the justices, 81-year-old Ruth Bader Ginsburg, has signaled she will serve at least one more year, and maybe longer.

The justices handed down three rulings Monday and will decide more of the 14 remaining cases on Thursday. They could wind up their work by the end of the month.

A look at some of the cases that remain:

- Contraceptive coverage: Corporations are claiming the right to exercise religious objections to covering women's contraceptives under their employee health insurance plans, despite the new health law's requirement that birth control be among a range of no-cost preventive services included in health plans.

- Abortion clinic buffer zones: Abortion opponents are challenging as a violation of their speech rights a Massachusetts law mandating a 35-foot protest-free zone on public sidewalks outside abortion clinics.

- Cellphone searches: Two cases weigh the power of police to search the cellphones of people they place under arrest without first obtaining a warrant from a judge.

- Recess presidential appointments: A federal appeals court said President Barack Obama misused the Constitution's recess power when he temporarily filled positions on the National Labor Relations Board in 2012.

- TV on the Internet: Broadcasters are fighting Internet startup Aereo's practice of taking television their programming for free and providing it to subscribers who can then watch on smartphones and other portable devices.

- Greenhouse gases: Industry groups assert that environmental regulators overstepped their bounds by trying to apply a provision of the Clean Air Act to control emissions of greenhouse gases from power plants and factories. This case is unlikely to affect the recent proposal from the Environmental Protection Agency to slash carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by nearly one-third by 2030; that plan involves a different part of the same law.

- Union fees: Home health care workers in Illinois want the court to rule that public sector unions cannot collect fees from workers who object to being affiliated with a union.

- Securities fraud: Investors could find it harder to bring class-action lawsuits over securities fraud at publicly traded companies in a case involving Halliburton Co., a provider of energy services.
 

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  1. I just wanted to point out that Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, Senator Feinstein, former Senate majority leader Bill Frist, and former attorney general John Ashcroft are responsible for this rubbish. We need to keep a eye on these corrupt, arrogant, and incompetent fools.

  2. Well I guess our politicians have decided to give these idiot federal prosecutors unlimited power. Now if I guy bounces a fifty-dollar check, the U.S. attorney can intentionally wait for twenty-five years or so and have the check swabbed for DNA and file charges. These power hungry federal prosecutors now have unlimited power to mess with people. we can thank Wisconsin's Jim Sensenbrenner and Diane Feinstein, John Achcroft and Bill Frist for this one. Way to go, idiots.

  3. I wonder if the USSR had electronic voting machines that changed the ballot after it was cast? Oh well, at least we have a free media serving as vicious watchdog and exposing all of the rot in the system! (Insert rimshot)

  4. Jose, you are assuming those in power do not wish to be totalitarian. My experience has convinced me otherwise. Constitutionalists are nearly as rare as hens teeth among the powerbrokers "managing" us for The Glorious State. Oh, and your point is dead on, el correcta mundo. Keep the Founders’ (1791 & 1851) vision alive, my friend, even if most all others, and especially the ruling junta, chase only power and money (i.e. mammon)

  5. Hypocrisy in high places, absolute immunity handed out like Halloween treats (it is the stuff of which tyranny is made) and the belief that government agents are above the constitutions and cannot be held responsible for mere citizen is killing, perhaps has killed, The Republic. And yet those same power drunk statists just reel on down the hallway toward bureaucratic fascism.

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