Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Supreme Court Rules Presidents Have Absolute Immunity for Official Acts, But Not Unofficial Acts; Supreme Court Rules Trump Has Immunity for Official Acts, Returns Case to Lower Courts in Blow to Jack Smith

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin
Supreme Court rules presidents have absolute immunity for official acts, but not unofficial acts:
The Supreme Court ruled Monday that presidents enjoy “absolute immunity” for official acts taken under their core responsibilities and may have some immunity from criminal prosecution for other official behavior, but they do not enjoy immunity for unofficial acts.
The court, in a 6-3 ruling divided along ideological grounds, said it will be up to a lower court to sort out which of former President Donald Trump’s actions surrounding the 2020 presidential election breach those lines.
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., writing the majority opinion, said the founders envisioned a country where no person — including a president — is above the law. But they also created a separation of powers that puts some presidential actions beyond the reach of the criminal laws written by Congress.
The result, he said, is the balance the court has struck.
“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,” the chief justice wrote.
Mr. Trump immediately embraced the decision and his campaign sent out fundraising appeals celebrating the ruling.
“BIG WIN FOR OUR CONSTITUTION AND DEMOCRACY. PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN!” the former president said on social media.
Democrats were furious over the decision.
“Today, the Supreme Court has gone rogue with its decision, violating the foundational American principle that no one is above the law,” said former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. --->READ MORE HERE
Jonathan Ernst, Rebecca Cook/Reuters
Supreme Court Rules Trump Has Immunity for Official Acts, Returns Case to Lower Courts in Blow to Jack Smith
The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that Donald Trump is immune to criminal prosecution for official acts taken while in office, but affirmed that he can be prosecuted for unofficial acts, in a decision that will likely further delay special counsel Jack Smith’s prosecution of the former president for attempting to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
In a 6-3 decision written by Chief Justice John Roberts and decided along ideological lines, the Court held that there is a critical distinction between public and private acts taken in office and returned the Trump case to a lower court for additional analysis and fact-finding.
“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,” Roberts wrote.
Justices Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor, and Ketanji Brown Jackson dissented from the majority opinion.
“Today’s decision to grant former presidents criminal immunity reshapes the institution of the presidency,” Sotomayor wrote. “It makes a mockery of the principle, foundational to our Constitution and system of government, that no man is above the law.”
Trump’s legal team appealed Smith’s criminal prosecution in Washington, D.C., on the grounds that Trump enjoyed absolute immunity for his effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election and his apparent role in the January 6 Capitol riot. Two lower courts have already rejected those claims.
The presidential-immunity appeal delayed Trump’s D.C. case as Smith pushes for a trial ahead of the 2024 presidential election, in which Trump is the presumptive GOP nominee. The Monday Supreme Court decision makes a pre-election trial unlikely because both sides will argue over the scope of what consists of an official act.
Trump communicated with then-vice president Mike Pence over whether he would carry out his constitutional obligation and join Congress to certify the 2020 presidential election results. The Supreme Court will allow the district court to assess whether those communications were official or unofficial acts.
The D.C. district court will also decide on whether Trump’s communications with state officials and his role in January 6th constituted official acts, given the president’s broad power to speak publicly on a wide array of issues. --->READ MORE HERE
If you like what you see, please "Like" and/or Follow us on FACEBOOK here, GETTR here, and TWITTER here.

No comments: