BREAKING: Supreme Court rules Trump does have presidential immunity for official acts

"The President therefore may not be prosecuted for exercising his core constitutional powers, and he is entitled, at a minimum, to a presumptive immunity from prosecution for all his official acts."

Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

The Supreme Court on Monday handed down its decision in the presidential immunity case brought forth by Trump’s team in the J6 case brought by Special Counsel Jack Smith. The Supreme Court ruled in a 6-3 vote that a former president does have absolute immunity for his core constitutional powers, though not for unofficial acts. The decision bounces back to a lower court for them to determine if the actions for which Trump is being prosecuted are official or unofficial acts.

"The President enjoys no immunity for his unofficial acts, and not everything the President does is official. The President is not above the law. But Congress may not criminalize the President’s conduct in carrying out the responsibilities of the Executive Branch under the Constitution. And the system of separated powers designed by the Framers has always demanded an energetic, independent Executive. The President therefore may not be prosecuted for exercising his core constitutional powers, and he is entitled, at a minimum, to a presumptive immunity from prosecution for all his official acts. That immunity applies equally to all occupants of the Oval Office, regardless of politics, policy, or party."

"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. 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."

They also state later that "Because the President cannot be prosecuted for conduct within his exclusive constitutional authority, Trump is absolutely immune from prosecution for the alleged conduct involving his discussions with Justice Department officials."

The opinion reads that "The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit is vacated, and the case is remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion." The question then becomes if Trump acted in his official capacity on January 6, 2021.

It will be up to the lower court to make a fresh determination. The opinion reads that the lower court will have to determine "whether a prosecution involving Trump's attempts to influence the Vice President's oversight of the certification proceeding in his capacity as President of the Senate would pose any dangers of intrusion on the authority and functions of the Executive Branch."

The Supreme Court heard arguments in the case on April 25 in a hearing that Trump was prohibited from attending due to the New York City falsified business records trial. Trump has argued that since he was president at the time of January 6, he still had presidential immunity and therefore could not be charged. 

On Feb. 6, the US Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled against Trump, stating that he does not have presidential immunity in the J6 case against him, which was brought against him by special counsel Jack Smith. Trump filed an emergency request at the Supreme Court on Feb. 12 which prevented the court of appeals ruling from taking effect. The case has been on hold pending the ruling. 

During the April hearing, justices leaned into questions of what presidents could potentially be held criminally liable for if the concept of presidential immunity is overturned. 

Justice Brett Kavanaugh asked US attorney Michael Dreeben whether President Gerald Ford's pardon of Richard Nixon could be construed as "obstruction of justice," or whether President Barack Obama could be prosecuted for drone strikes he carried out in office that had killed US citizens abroad if the court ruled against Trump in the case. Another topic brought up was the Japanese internment camps in the US of World War II. 

Dreeben argued that in these cases prosecution would not be warranted under things like wartime powers. 

"That is the constitutional doctrine that currently governs, the separation of powers. What petitioner is asking for is a broad blanket immunity that would protect the president, a former president, from any criminal exposure, absent impeachment and conviction which has never happened in our history," Dreeben said at the time.  

Trump attorney D. John Sauer said during his opening statements that the overturning of presidential immunity could also potentially see Biden prosecuted after he leaves office due to his border policies. 

Sauer told the justices, "Without presidential immunity from criminal prosecution, there can be no presidency as we know it.” He added, "For 234 years of American history, no president was ever prosecuted for his official acts. The Framers of our Constitution viewed an energetic executive as essential to securing liberty." 

"If a president can be charged, put on trial, and imprisoned for his most controversial decisions as soon as he leaves office, that looming threat will distort the president's decision-making precisely when bold and fearless action is most needed. Every current president will face de facto blackmail and extortion by his political rivals while he is still in office," he added. 

The ruling could undermine Smith’s case against trump in the federal case, as well as Fulton County DA Fani Willis’ Georgia election case, which has also been placed on hold until after the election. 

Sign in to comment


Powered by The Post Millennial CMS™ Comments

Join and support independent free thinkers!

We’re independent and can’t be cancelled. The establishment media is increasingly dedicated to divisive cancel culture, corporate wokeism, and political correctness, all while covering up corruption from the corridors of power. The need for fact-based journalism and thoughtful analysis has never been greater. When you support The Post Millennial, you support freedom of the press at a time when it's under direct attack. Join the ranks of independent, free thinkers by supporting us today for as little as $1.

Support The Post Millennial

Remind me next month

To find out what personal data we collect and how we use it, please visit our Privacy Policy

By signing up you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
© 2024 The Post Millennial, Privacy Policy | Do Not Sell My Personal Information