Supreme Court Ruling on Trump’s Immunity ‘The President Is Now a King Above the Law’

 Supreme Court Ruling on Trump’s Immunity ‘The President Is Now a King Above the Law’

Pic: Reuters

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that former presidents, including Donald Trump, have absolute immunity for core official acts, but not all actions are deemed official. This 6-3 ruling has been described as a “mixed bag” by legal analysts.

Commentators on the decision, speaking on X, explained that a president can now claim “official acts” to declare innocence. This decision means President Joe Biden could theoretically order the military to arrest or even kill Trump, they said. As Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote in her dissent, “The president is now a king above the law.”

The majority opinion left it to a lower court to decide if Trump’s actions on January 6 were official. Former ethics czar Norm Eisen commented, “Instead, they have established a test that his attempted coup cannot meet, back to D.C. for a mini-trial. The court does repudiate Trump’s outlandish version of immunity, but it is absurd that they took almost 7 months to do so. I agree with the dissenters on what the test should be, but now we need to push for a mini-trial applying the test ASAP.”

Political scientist Miranda Yaver expressed frustration, saying, “I don’t ever want to f—–g hear again that Roberts is an institutionalist.” University of Texas law professor Lee Kovarsky clarified, “MISREPORTING HAPPENING: I’m seeing a number of news breakers reporting that Trump has absolute immunity for all official acts. This is wrong. He has absolute immunity for ‘core’ presidential powers and there is only a PRESUMPTION of immunity for the rest of official acts.”

As Politico’s Kyle Cheney wrote, the case is essentially sent back to Judge Tanya Chutkan to decide if Trump’s January 6 actions were official acts. She will determine if Trump’s communication with Vice President Mike Pence, pressuring him to overturn the election results, was official.

Civil rights lawyer Matthew Segal remarked, “The legal system had one job after Jan. 6, which was to make clear that the President of the United States cannot do what Trump did. This is… not that.”

Lawyer Bradley Moss wrote, “The Supreme Court just gave Biden unequivocal immunity to order the military to take action against Trump. Today. Right now.” The Nation’s legal commentator, Elie Mystal, quoted part of Chief Justice John Roberts’ decision: “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.”

Mystal lamented, “You can’t use like EVIDENCE against the President either. Welp, that’s all folks. The President is immune from prosecution so long as he says he committed crimes as part of his ‘official’ duties. So ends the part of the American experience where our leaders were bound by the rule of law. Thanks for playing.”

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