Supreme Court Decides on hearing trump’s Immunity Appeal

As told to us by Joyce Vance at Civil Discourse.

This afternoon, the Supreme Court told us that it will hear Trump’s presidential immunity appeal. After sitting on it for two and a half weeks, they’ve issued a brief grant of certiorari, scheduling argument for the week of April 22. It’s a major disappointment for people who believe justice can be done and presidents are not above the law. And understand, this is not about politics. This is not about using a criminal prosecution in an unfair way against a candidate for office. This is about seeking justice and accountability, the core functions of our criminal justice system. “Justice delayed is justice denied” is the earworm that’s burning through my brain tonight.

The issues now will be how soon the Hearing and when will they decide. Trump’s brief is due on March 19. The government’s response is due April 8. The court will hear the argument until April 22. And then ponder, although they could decide at the Hearing too. Unlikely though, but we could be in for a surprise.

What will be decided upon? Joyce states; “The question is ‘whether and if so to what extent does a former president enjoy presidential immunity from criminal prosecution for conduct alleged to involve official acts during his tenure in office.’ Rather than considering whether the indictment charges acts that were outside the scope of Trump’s official duties, the Court is looking at whether he can be prosecuted for ‘official acts,’ which lines up with the way the Court of Appeals decided the case.”

Additional thoughts by Joyce: Americans deserve a trial before the election. The chances we will get it are slipping away. Nothing about the Supreme Court’s pace so far suggests they’re in a hurry or will be when it comes to issuing an opinion.

This isn’t a hard case. The substantive argument Trump makes—that presidents are entitled to absolute immunity from criminal prosecution for anything they do in office and more specifically, for trying to steal an election—has to be a loser. As we’ve discussed before, if it’s not, our claim to be a democracy is no longer viable. Presidents would be forever above the law. There’s always a chance the Court could decide the appeal quickly and the case could be tried in advance of the election, but there are no guarantees, and I’m not here tonight to be a Pollyanna. 

Background: Now: Law Prof, MSNBC/NBC Legal Analyst, Podcaster Before: US Atty, Fed’l Prosecutor  Always: Wife, Mom, Dogs, Cats & Chickens, Knitting