Will the Supreme Court Hear This Before November?

What strikes me as the most important story of the day is this decision by the DC district circuit court of appeals, reported by Andrew Goudsward at Reuters:

WASHINGTON, Feb 6 (Reuters) – Donald Trump does not have immunity from charges he plotted to overturn his 2020 election defeat, a federal appeals court ruled on Tuesday, bringing the former U.S. president a step closer to an unprecedented criminal trial.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected Trump’s claim that he cannot be prosecuted because the allegations relate to his official responsibilities as president.

“We cannot accept that the office of the Presidency places its former occupants above the law for all time thereafter,” the unanimous panel wrote.
The court concluded that any executive immunity that may have shielded Trump from criminal charges while he served as president “no longer protects him against this prosecution.”

The ruling, which Trump vowed to appeal, rebuffs his attempt to avoid a trial on charges that he undermined American democracy and the transfer of power, even as he consolidates his position as the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination.

I honestly don’t know the law on this but I will admit to a healthy skepticism of Trump’s argument. Now it’s on to the Supreme Court? Will the SCOTUS hear the case and how quickly?

4 comments… add one
  • Andy Link

    I think Trump’s arguments on absolute immunity on basically everything are absurd. My guess is that SCOTUS will punt on this, letting this ruling stand.

  • steve Link

    Alito, Thomas and Barrett will support him on this but dont think the others will.


  • PD Shaw Link

    Presidents are categorically immune from civil liability for official acts (Nixon). The question raised here for the first time is whether the same is true for criminal liability. The ruling is focused on the “categorically” component. He will be able to raise other Separation of Powers issues and First Amendment issues based on the evidence produced at trial. At this stage, the courts are required to treat the indictment as true. The SCOTUS might take it, the prosecutor already tried to get the SCOTUS to accept the appeal and skip over the Court of Appeals. They might figure it’s easier to deal with the issues based upon the record created at trial.

    The other issue raised about whether the prosecution was barred by acquittal in the impeachment is interesting because the Court argued that because knowledge of impeachable offenses may not arise until after the POTUS has left office criminal prosecution, as an independent remedy is important. The Court seemed to approve of the view that Trump couldn’t be impeached the second time. I thought that was a problem at the time, Pelosi should have put articles of impeachment to a vote and delivered it to the Senate immediately.

  • Grey Shambler Link

    He’s way ahead in the polls, we need to protect our democracy first.
    Prosecutorial vendettas aside.

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