US Supreme Court's Term Starts Monday: What You Need to Know

The Supreme Court has a number of major cases up for grabs during its roughly nine-month term, which ends in June.
US Supreme Court's Term Starts Monday: What You Need to Know
Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court pose for their official photo at the Supreme Court in Washington on Oct. 7, 2022. (Front L–R) Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice John Roberts, Justices Samuel Alito and Justice Elena Kagan. (Back L–R) Justices Amy Coney Barrett, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Ketanji Brown Jackson. (Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images)
Jack Phillips
The U.S. Supreme Court's next term is scheduled to start Monday, and a number of significant cases await—including some that could threaten federal regulatory agencies as well as efforts targeting content on social media platforms.

Second Amendment

The court agreed to take up U.S. v. Rahimi, a case that could determine whether a federal law banning people from possessing firearms while under a domestic violence-related restraining order violates the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

The case involves a Texas man, Zackey Rahimi, charged with illegal gun possession while subject to a domestic violence restraining order after assaulting his girlfriend. Rahimi challenged the law after being charged under it in 2021.

The New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in February declared that the 1994 law was unconstitutional in a ruling that applied to Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. The 5th Circuit initially had upheld the law but withdrew its opinion following the Supreme Court’s landmark Second Amendment ruling last year.

Social Media Cases

Last week, the Supreme Court agreed to decide the legality of Republican-backed state laws in Texas and Florida that constrain the ability of social media companies to curb content on their platforms that these businesses deem objectionable.

The justices took up two cases involving challenges by technology industry groups who argued that these 2021 laws restricting the content-moderation practices of large social media platforms violate the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment protections for freedom of speech. Lower courts split on the issue, striking down key provisions of Florida's law while upholding the Texas measure.

President Joe Biden's administration had told the justices in a court filing that the cases merited review because the state laws burdened the rights of the companies.

In May of this year, a 5–4 majority of the Supreme Court blocked Texas from enforcing the law. The decision was handled via the court's emergency docket, and no opinion was issued.

Justice Samuel Alito, in a dissent, wrote at the time that it is "not at all obvious how our existing precedents, which predate the age of the internet, should apply to large social media companies." He was joined by Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch in the emergency case.

Federal Regulatory Agencies

One case challenges the funding for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and if the top court rules against the government, some analysts have said it could limit the power of other independent federal agencies such as the Federal Service.

The case, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau v. Community Financial Services Association of America, is an appeal of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals' holding that the agency's use of the Federal Reserve System to fund its operations violates the separation of powers clause of the U.S. Constitution.

For that case, a ruling is expected by the end of June. The court's 6–3 conservative majority has limited the regulatory power of federal agencies in a series of rulings in recent years.

Another case, meanwhile, challenges the legality of judges at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, deciding cases that involve securities fraud. Previously, those cases were handled by the judicial—not executive—branch.

The other one that targets the U.S. administrative state was filed by four East Coast fishing companies that object to a rule that mandates them to pay for boat monitors to record their catches. They argue that it's unclear whether federal law allows the Department of Commerce to impose such a rule on fishermen.

 Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) in a file photo. (Allison Joyce/Getty Images)
Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) in a file photo. (Allison Joyce/Getty Images)

Election Cases

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court agreed to take up another U.S. House redistricting case, this time in South Carolina. A lower court ruled that the state must redraw its congressional map because a district was intentionally redrawn to reduce the number of Democratic-leaning black voters.
The lawsuit is backed by a number of left-leaning groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union. The lower court ruling was appealed by the state to the Supreme Court.
That district that could be affected is currently occupied by Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.), a Republican who has quickly gained a national profile but who narrowly beat her opponent Joe Cunningham, a Democrat, in 2020.

Trump Cases

Even larger election issues could be coming to the court soon as a multitude of federal judges have weighed a handful of appeals related to the indictments of former President Donald Trump in federal courts in Washington and Florida as well as state courts in New York and Georgia. It's not clear if the court will ever be asked to issue a decision on the cases.
Also, with President Trump maintaining his lead over other GOP presidential candidates, some activist groups have filed lawsuits in several states to keep him off the ballot, claiming that the U.S. Constitution's Fourteenth Amendment's insurrection clause written after the Civil War bars him from doing so. Some legal analysts say that the arguments to block the former president are shaky, while several secretaries of state—including Michigan Democrat Jocelyn Benson—have said they won't take any action to keep him from appearing on 2024 ballots.
Reuters contributed to this report.
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter with 15 years experience who started as a local New York City reporter. Having joined The Epoch Times' news team in 2009, Jack was born and raised near Modesto in California's Central Valley. Follow him on X: