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8 biggest Supreme Court rulings this month

The Roberts court, photographed in 2010
The Roberts court, photographed in 2010
Steve Petteway, Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States via Wikimedia

As the current Supreme Court term comes to a close this month, it's ruling on a ton of cases. We're closely tracking and explaining the biggest ones and will keep this post updated as decisions come out.


1) Patents
On June 19, the Supreme Court placed stricter limits on when software can be patented.
The Supreme Court just restricted software patents. Here's what that means.
The Supreme Court doesn't understand software, and that's a problem
How the Supreme Court might kill software patents
Will the Supreme Court ever figure out technology?
Everything you need to know about patents


2) Greenhouse gases and the EPA

On June 23, the Supreme Court limited the Environmental Protection Agency's ability to regulate facilities that emit carbon dioxide.
The Supreme Court just made it a little harder for the EPA to fight climate change


3) Aereo and TV broadcast rights

On June 25, the Supreme Court ruled that TV streaming startup Aereo infringed copyright by enabling customers to record broadcast TV over the Internet.
Aereo loses Supreme Court case
The Supreme Court's Aereo decision could endanger cloud storage services
Will the Supreme Court ever figure out technology?
Everything you need to know about the Aereo case


4) Cellphone privacy

On June 25, the Supreme Court decided that police need a warrant before they can search the information on people's cell phones.

SCOTUS rules cops can't search your cell phone without a warrant
John Roberts rules that iPhones aren't really phones
Surprise: the Supreme Court does know a lot about mobile phones
The most important sentence in the Supreme Court's cell phone privacy ruling

5) Presidential powers
On June 26, the Court ruled against Obama on recent Presidential appointments without Senate confirmation while the Senate was holding pro forma sessions only. But the opinion upheld that such appointments are ok if the recess is 10 days long or longer.
Supreme Court unanimously rules Obama’s recess appointments unconstitutional


6) Abortion clinic protester buffer zones

On June 26,  the Court ruled that a law that didn't allow protestors within 35 feet of an abortion clinic violated the First Amendment.
Supreme Court: abortion clinic ‘buffer-zones’ violate the First Amendment
How can the Supreme Court have a protest buffer zone if abortion clinics can't?
In three years, states passed more abortion restrictions than in the past three decades
The Supreme Court will defend your right to free speech if it agrees with you


7) Obamacare & contraceptives

On June 30, the Supreme Court decided that "closely-held corporations" can't be required to provide contraceptives to employees.
Supreme Court rules against Obamacare's birth control mandate
Ongoing coverage here: Obamacare's birth control mandate's big day in court
Everything you need to know about Obamacare and birth control


8) Labor unions

On June 30, the Court ruled that Illinois can't make the class of workers in this particular case pay representation fees to labor unions. But it didn't overrule anything about direct employees of state and local governments.
Supreme Court drastically curtails public sector unions