On a sweeping Supreme Court day, a trio of rulings that will affect millions of lives

Another landmark term at the U.S. Supreme Court neared its end Friday with a trio of decisions expected to transform the lives of millions of Americans.

In rulings described as “profound” and “sweeping,” the high court weighed in on homelessness, government regulatory power, and Jan. 6 prosecutions.

In one decision, the court held that local laws effectively criminalizing homelessness don’t violate the U.S. Constitution. In another, the court overturned a 40-year-old precedent governing how federal agencies can issue regulations. And in its final decision, the justices vacated an obstruction charge the federal government has filed against hundreds of Jan. 6 defendants – including former President Donald Trump. 

Why We Wrote This

The three Supreme Court decisions issued Friday alone would qualify as a history-making term. And the court is not yet done, with arguably the biggest case coming Monday.

The already blockbuster term is not yet over. Arguably the biggest case of them all, concerning whether Mr. Trump has immunity from criminal prosecution, is expected to be decided on Monday. But today’s rulings are momentous on their own terms.

Can cities criminalize sleeping outside? The justices weigh in on homelessness.

The first decision on Friday came in a complex and emotional case concerning homelessness in a small Oregon town.

The town, Grants Pass, had enacted an ordinance that made it criminal to sleep in public – including in your car. In a 6-3 ruling that broke along ideological lines, the Supreme Court said that the ordinance doesn’t constitute “cruel and unusual punishment” under the Eighth Amendment.

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