U.S. Supreme Court to Decide Influential Criminal Cases

In Death Penalty Cases, a Texas Court Tests the Supreme Court's Patience - The New York Times

The Associated Press reports the Supreme Court is headed into its final few weeks with nearly half of the cases heard this year still undecided. Some of the criminal cases are quite influential, including ones that could reshape the law on Obstructing, Firearms Offenses and Domestic Violence cases.

Here’s a look at some of the major undecided cases:

Jan. 6, 2021 Riots

A former Pennsylvania police officer is challenging the validity of obstruction charges brought against hundreds of people who took part in the violent assault on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Former President Donald Trump faces the same charge of obstructing an official proceeding.

The legal issue is whether a law meant to discourage tampering with documents sought in investigations can be used against the Capitol rioters.

The federal charge of Obstruction of an Official Proceeding carries up to 20 years behind bars. It is among the most widely used felony charges in the Jan. 6 cases. It has been brought against extremists accused of plotting to stop the transfer of presidential power from Republican Donald Trump to Democrat Joe Biden as well as in dozens of less serious cases.

Guns & Domestic Violence

The justices are weighing whether to uphold a federal law that seeks to protect Domestic Violence victims by keeping guns away from the people alleged to have abused them.

The case, United States v. Rahimi, made its way up to the Supreme Court after the Biden administration asked the justices to review a decision earlier this year by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit that struck down a federal law that bars people under domestic violence orders from having firearms.

An appeals court struck down a law that prohibits people under domestic violence restraining orders from possessing firearms. That court found that the law violated the 2nd Amendment right to “keep and bear arms” following the Supreme Court’s 2022 ruling that expanded gun rights and changed how courts are supposed to evaluate gun restrictions.


The most significant Supreme Court case in decades on homelessness centers on whether people can be banned from sleeping outdoors when shelter space is lacking.

A San Francisco-based appeals court decision said that amounts to cruel and unusual punishment. Leaders from California and across the West say that the ruling makes it harder for them to regulate homeless encampments encroaching on sidewalks and other public places. Advocates say it would criminalize homelessness just as rising costs have pushed the number of people without a permanent place to live to record levels.

Please contact my office if you, a friend or family member are charged with a crime. Hiring an effective and competent defense attorney is the first and best step toward justice.