Fischer v. United States

Fischer v. U.S. Link to finding June 2024

The Supreme Court's ruling in the case Fischer v. United States could alter how the Department of Justice can prosecute January 6 cases.

The DOJ has charged hundreds of defendants with "obstruction of an official proceeding," a reference to their disrupting the Electoral College certification.

After the rioters entered the U.S. Capitol, the threat of potential violence caused members of Congress to vacate the House chamber, delaying the vote for hours. Congress eventually certified Biden's victory, despite many Republicans objecting to certifying the results in battleground states.

The Supreme Court last month agreed to hear a challenge to the DOJ's interpretation of the obstruction charge, taking up the appeal from Joseph Fischer. Fischer is a former Pennsylvania police officer who the government says had a physical encounter with another officer during the Capitol riot and urged rioters to "charge" and "hold the line."

The court granted certiorari for the case on December 13, 2023. The Supreme Court will begin hearing arguments in March or April, according to the Associated Press.

Some defendants are already arguing they should be released pending the final ruling in the case.

Ultimately, a ruling favoring Fischer could upend two of the four counts Trump is facing in the case, one of four criminal prosecutions against him.