Here is some of the legal news making the headlines this week:

In a case that sought to restrict access to the abortion pill Mifepristone, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the challengers lacked standing to bring the lawsuit.

  • This case was brought by a group of doctors and medical associations who oppose abortion. They challenged the Food and Drug Administration‚Äôs approval of, and the subsequent easing of restrictions on, the abortion drug Mifepristone.¬†
  • In order to proceed with their claims against the FDA, the challengers must first pass a threshold question: do they have ‚Äústanding‚ÄĚ to bring the lawsuit in the first place? Supreme Court precedent dictates that to file a lawsuit, a party must ‚Äúdemonstrate (i) that she has suffered or likely will suffer an injury in fact, (ii) that the injury likely was caused or will be caused by the defendant, and (iii) that the injury likely would be redressed by the requested judicial relief.‚ÄĚ In this case, Justice Brett Kavanaugh, writing for the unanimous court, said, despite the challengers‚Äô ‚Äúsincere legal, moral, ideological, and policy objections‚ÄĚ to abortion, those ‚Äúconcerns do not suffice on their own to confer Article III standing to sue in federal court.‚ÄĚ
  • This isn‚Äôt the only abortion case on the Court‚Äôs docket this term. The justices will also decide whether the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) requires emergency room doctors to provide abortions in urgent situations, such as if a woman‚Äôs life is in danger.

A federal jury in Delaware found Hunter Biden guilty of lying about his drug use when purchasing a gun in 2018 and then illegally possessing the gun while using drugs.

  • The jury reached its verdict after deliberating for just a few hours, which followed a weeklong trial. On this week‚Äôs episode of the CAFE Insider podcast, Preet Bharara and Joyce Vance discussed the highlights from the trial, including key testimony by Hunter Biden‚Äôs former romantic partners and the gun seller.
  • District Judge Maryellen Noreika is expected to issue Hunter Biden‚Äôs sentence in about four months. In theory, the conviction could subject him to a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison, but Judge Noreika will likely consult the federal sentencing guidelines and consider a number of factors, which are expected to significantly minimize the sentence. Principal among the factors considered is the individual‚Äôs criminal history, and since this is Hunter Biden‚Äôs first criminal conviction, he may not serve time in jail, and just receive probation.
  • Speaking after the verdict was announced, special counsel David Weiss, who brought the case against Hunter Biden, said, ‚ÄúUltimately this case was not just about addiction‚ĶThis case was about the illegal choices the defendant made while in the throes of addiction.‚ÄĚ Weiss also thanked Attorney General Merrick Garland for ensuring Weiss had ‚Äúthe independence to appropriately pursue [] investigations and prosecutions.‚ÄĚ
  • This will not be Hunter Biden‚Äôs final legal battle. He is also facing federal tax charges in a case also brought by Weiss. That trial is scheduled to start in September in California.

District Judge Aileen Cannon rejected one of former President Donald Trump’s motions to dismiss the classified documents charges, but she also slightly narrowed the case. 

  • Judge Cannon rejected Trump‚Äôs arguments that, among other things, the indictment failed to sufficiently accuse him of committing a crime and included duplicitous charges. She wrote that the allegations in the indictment were sufficient.¬†
  • Cannon, however, granted Trump‚Äôs request to strike from the indictment an allegation that he showed a highly-sensitive military map to a political adviser at his Bedminster, New Jersey golf club in 2021. Cannon suggested that because this allegation was not directly linked to one of the charges, it was not ‚Äúappropriate‚ÄĚ to include it in the indictment.¬†
  • Over the next few weeks, Cannon will hold hearings on other matters relevant to the Trump prosecution, including special counsel Smith‚Äôs request for a gag order, the legality of Smith‚Äôs appointment as special counsel, and whether to suppress evidence the FBI obtained when executing the search warrant at Mar-a-Lago.¬†¬†

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