Tag Archive for: presidential immunity

The Supreme’s Ruling on Presidential Immunity

Good news! The Supreme Court Justices seem to be acting reasonably for a change, by confirming that one can’t indict a president for, well, being a president!

If our presidents were criminally liable for their official acts as president, given the high degree of rancor and vindictiveness in American politics, we’d be hard pressed to field any presidential candidates at all—except perhaps for low IQ DEI types.

But leave it to John “the weasel” Roberts to make sure there’s a loophole somewhere.

Here’s an excerpt from the Court’s 6-3 ruling:

Under our constitutional structure of separated powers, the nature of Presidential power entitles a former President to absolute immunity from criminal prosecution for actions within his conclusive and preclusive constitutional authority. And he is entitled to at least presumptive immunity from prosecution for all his official acts. There is no immunity for unofficial acts.

Here’s Roberts’ weaseling act:

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the majority opinion that the ultimate analysis on which of the allegations in Trump’s indictment are considered official acts subject to immunity is “best left to the lower courts.”

And while Roberts affirmed that Trump’s discussions with the Justice Department meet the standard of “absolute immunity,” those involving his interactions with his Vice President, state officials, and even his public comments, “present more difficult questions.”

Hmmm…. So the president’s interactions with his own VP and state governors, and even what he says, for example, at public rallies—perhaps including one on January 6th, 2021—may not be protected by presidential immunity? Why should his interactions with the DOJ be immune from prosecution, but not his interactions with his own VP?

Could that possibly be because he asked his VP Judas Pence to do the right thing by denying certification to the battleground states whose 2020 elections were riddled with highly suspicious  “anomalies”?  After all, why go through the motions of certification if you’re never going to call out flagrant election fraud and request an investigation, a recount, and/or a one-day redo of the election in the relevant states?

But the award for hypocrisy goes not to Roberts but to Sotomayor. In fact, I’d give her a Nobel Prize for Irony, for the following comments in her dissent as she laments the supposed dire results of the Court’s majority ruling:

Let the President violate the law, let him exploit the trappings of his office for personal gain, let him use his official power for evil ends.  …the President is now a king above the law.

Hmmm…. Has Biden, not to mention Obama before him, ever violated the law? Ever weaponized the Justice Department? Ever exploited the trappings of the office? Ever used his official power for evil ends, such as aiding and abetting a huge invasion of our nation through our southern border, etc.?

It seems Justice Sotomayor somehow missed these pesky details.  But of course she’d never want a president to be “a king above the law.” 

Unless he was a Democrat!

©2024. Cherie Zaslawsky. All rights reserved.

RELATED ARTICLE: SCOTUS Weighs in on Presidential Immunity in Trump v. United States


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Biden Reads Teleprompter For 5 Minutes, Takes No Questions In First Major Post-Debate Appearance

President Joe Biden made his first major appearance since his panic-inspiring debate performance Monday to give brief remarks on the Supreme Court’s presidential immunity decision that was released earlier in the day.

Biden spoke for five minutes, from a teleprompter, on the court finding that presidents have immunity from criminal prosecution for “official acts” taken in office. After Biden criticized the decision, calling it a “dangerous precedent,” he quickly left without taking a single question as reporters shouted inquiries his way.

“Mr. President, will you drop out of the race?” one reporter can be heard shouting. Another seemingly asked how he can assure Democrats that he is the best man to defeat former President Donald Trump.

“There are no kings in America. Each, each of us is equal before the law,” Biden said. “No one, no one is above the law, not even the President of the United States.”

“With today’s Supreme Court decision on presidential immunity, that fundamentally changed, for all, for all practical purposes, today’s decision almost certainly means that there are virtually no limits on what the president can do,” he continued. “This is a fundamentally new principle, and it’s a dangerous precedent, because the power of the office will no longer be constrained by the law, even including the Supreme Court of the United States — the only limits will be self-imposed by the president alone.”

Biden’s Monday speech was his first major appearance since scores of Democrats began calling for him to drop out of the presidential race. The calls began just thirty minutes after Biden took the debate stage last Thursday night and began stumbling over answers and sounding confused.

As the Biden campaign did damage control, the president appeared at campaign events over the weekend and briefly addressed his debate performance to donors.

“I know I’m not a young man. I don’t walk as easy as I used to. I don’t speak as smoothly as I used to. I don’t debate as well as I used to, but I know what I do know — I know how to tell the truth,” Biden said at a North Carolina rally on Friday.

The president later admitted at a Saturday rally that he knew it wasn’t his best debate and understood the “concern.”

Biden and his family gathered at Camp David over the weekend to reportedly discuss his presidential bid. After the weekend, “the entire family is united” and the president’s son, Hunter Biden, is pushing the hardest for his dad to stay in the race, sources close to the situation told the New York Times.

“I know I will respect the limits of the presidential powers I have for three and a half years, but any president including Donald Trump, will now be free to ignore the law. I concur with Justice Sotomayor’s dissent today. Here’s what she said: she said ‘in every use of official power, the president is now a king above the law. With fear for our democracy, I dissent.’ End of quote. So should the American people dissent — I dissent,” Biden concluded.

Critics rushed to point out that Biden himself usurped the Supreme Court by erasing billions of dollars in student loan debt during his term despite the court ruling that he lacked the power to do so.

“The Supreme Court blocked it, but that didn’t stop me,” he once said of his loan forgiveness plans.

AUTHOR

REAGAN REESE

White House correspondent. Follow Reagan on Twitter.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Supreme Court Rules Trump Has ‘Absolute Immunity’ From Prosecution For Official Acts

The Supreme Court ruled on former President Donald Trump’s immunity appeal, finding that presidents have immunity from criminal prosecution for “official acts” taken in office.

Trump’s appeal, which seeks to dismiss the case brought by special counsel Jack Smith based on Trump’s claim that he has absolute immunity from criminal prosecution for official acts during his presidency, has long delayed his trial in Washington, D.C., bringing proceedings at the district court to a grinding halt as the Supreme Court sorted out the dispute. Trump was indicted last August on four felony counts relating to alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

“Under our constitutional structure of separated powers, the nature of Presidential power entitles a former President to absolute immunity from criminal prosecution for actions within his conclusive and preclusive constitutional authority,” the court held in a 6-3 ruling. “And he is entitled to at least presumptive immunity from prosecution for all his official acts. There is no immunity for unofficial acts.”

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the majority opinion that the ultimate analysis on which of the allegations in Trump’s indictment are considered official acts subject to immunity is “best left to the lower courts.”

“Certain allegations—such as those involving Trump’s discussions with the Acting Attorney General—are readily categorized in light of the nature of the President’s official relationship to the office held by that individual,” Roberts wrote. “Other allegations—such as those involving Trump’s interactions with the Vice President, state officials, and certain private parties, and his comments to the general public present more difficult questions. ”

Roberts wrote that Trump is “absolutely immune from prosecution for the alleged conduct involving his discussions with Justice Department officials.”

However, Roberts also wrote that Trump asserted “a far broader immunity than the limited one we have recognized.”

“He contends that the indictment must be dismissed because the Impeachment Judgment Clause requires that impeachment and Senate conviction precede a President’s criminal prosecution,” Roberts wrote. “The text of the Clause provides little support for such an absolute immunity.”

District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan canceled the initially scheduled March trial date while the appeal was still pending. The Supreme Court’s ruling now means a trial is almost certain not to be held before the election.

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Trump’s claim in February, finding he is not immune from prosecution. Chutkan previously denied Trump’s bid to dismiss the case in December.

In an effort to speed up the process, Smith asked the Supreme Court in December to take the case before the appeals court could weigh in. The justices declined Smith’s request to accelerate the appeal.

In a dissent, Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote that the majority’s ruling “reshapes the institution of the Presidency, claiming “the President is now a king above the law.”

“Let the President violate the law, let him exploit the trappings of his office for personal gain, let him use his official power for evil ends,” Sotomayor wrote. “Because if he knew that he may one day face liability for breaking the law, he might not be as bold and fearless as we would like him to be. That is the majority’s message today.”

The Supreme Court ruled Friday in a case brought by Jan. 6 defendant Joseph Fischer that the the Department of Justice (DOJ) interpreted an obstruction statute too broadly in charging him and hundreds of others. The ruling could impact Trump’s case as well, since two of the charges brought by Smith are related to the statute.

The indictment alleges Trump “knowingly false claims of election fraud to obstruct the federal government function by which those results are collected, counted, and certified.”

In a separate case involving the former president, the Supreme Court ruled in March that states cannot remove Trump from the 2024 ballot.

Trump’s criminal case in Georgia also is not expected to proceed to trial before the election, as it is now on pause pending the appeal of defendants’ bid to disqualify Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis from the case. While he did not require her to step down from the case, Judge Scott McAfee found a significant appearance of impropriety in Willis’ relationship with the special prosecutor Nathan Wade, who defendants alleged she financially benefited from appointing when he paid for expenses on vacations.

The Daily Caller News Foundation reported in January that she awarded Wade a higher paying contract than the state’s top racketeering expert.

The trial date for his federal classified documents case in Florida was postponed indefinitely by the judge. Judge Aileen Cannon also held hearings recently considering the constitutionality of Smith’s appointment.

The FBI raided Mar-a-Lago in August 2022 as part of its investigation into Trump’s handling of the documents. Trump’s attorneys argued in a recent motion to dismiss the raid was “unconstitutional” and the search was “executed in an egregious fashion and in bad faith.”

President Joe Biden was not similarly charged for willfully possessing classified information after special counsel Robert Hur concluded a jury would likely not convict him, noting Biden presents himself “as a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.”

Trump was convicted on 34 felony counts for falsifying business records in the case brought by Democratic Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg in May. His sentencing is scheduled for July 11.

AUTHOR

KATELYNN RICHARDSON

Contributor.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.


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