It's a big week for the Supreme Court, which wraps up its term next Monday. We'll be hearing from the justices on a number of key cases that have been argued since January, ranging from ObamaCare to free speech. USA Today outlines the highlights; this week's decisions will be issued today, Wednesday, and Thursday, notes SCOTUSblog:
- The court will decide whether for-profit companies can receive religious exemptions from the ObamaCare's requirement that employers cover contraceptives.
- Justices will address the constitutionality of a Massachusetts law barring protests within 35 feet of an abortion clinic.
- Another question concerns a president's the authority to make executive appointments without congressional confirmation. In this case, President Obama appointed labor officials while noting that the Senate was on recess; at the time, senators were holding pro-forma sessions every few days. USA Today notes the ruling could touch on appointments made by George Washington.
- On the environment, the court will address the government's ability to require permits for companies emitting greenhouse gases.
- Labor unions face a potential funding threat: A case deals with whether workers can be required to pay fees despite not belonging to a union. As it stands, public sector unions have to fight for all workers in their industry, even if they're not dues-paying members. Those non-members may still have to pay "fair-share" fees; justices are examining whether workers can reject these fees, which CBS News explains could be a "devastating" blow to the unions, which would have to rep workers who don't contribute anything to them.
- The court is also weighing in on how we tune into TV. People who use the Aereo antenna TV service can watch shows online; broadcasters say the service is a lot like cable, and Aereo should have to pay retransmission fees as cable providers do.