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Trump's taxes, birth control top Supreme Court's closing agenda

Greg Stohr, Bloomberg News on

Published in Political News

The U.S. Supreme Court is poised to cap a term like no other with potentially blockbuster decisions covering birth control, religious rights and President Donald Trump's efforts to keep his financial records private.

The justices will tackle their eight remaining cases starting Monday, when they issue opinions in July for the first time since 1996. The eight cases were heard in an extraordinary May argument session, held by telephone because of the coronavirus outbreak. The justices could finish their work later in the week.

Together, the final opinions could rewrite the narrative of a Supreme Court term that so far hasn't produced the clear conservative shift some envisioned after two Trump nominees joined the court. The rulings will shape public perceptions of the court, and perhaps of Trump, heading into the November election.

Here are the top cases the court still must resolve:

Trump's taxes

House Democrats and a New York state prosecutor are separately trying to get Trump's accounting firm to turn over his financial records, material that could include the tax returns he has long refused to release publicly. The House committees are also subpoenaing the president's banks.

 

Trump says lawmakers are trying to engage in law enforcement, which his legal team argues is beyond Congress's constitutional powers, particularly when it involves the president's private affairs. And Trump contends presidents should have absolute immunity from state criminal investigations while in office to ensure against unwarranted distractions.

House Democrats say they are pursuing legitimate legislative goals, including updating federal ethics and money-laundering laws and fighting foreign efforts to influence U.S. elections. The case isn't directly tied to any impeachment investigation.

For his part, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. says Trump is trying to put the president above the law. Vance is investigating whether the Trump Organization falsified business records to disguise hush payments to two women who claimed they had sex with Trump before he took office.

The House case could have the most tangible political impact. If the court upholds any of the four subpoenas, Democrats would get access to a trove of financial records involving Trump, his family and his business -- and could make those documents public before the election.

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