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'Historic': Supreme Court rules presidents are immune from criminal charges for official actions

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the majority: 'The indictment’s allegations that Trump attempted to pressure the Vice President to take particular acts in connection with his role at the certification proceeding thus involve official conduct, and Trump is at least presumptively immune from prosecution for such conduct.'
by WorldTribune Staff, July 1, 2024 Contract With Our Readers

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday ruled that former presidents, including Donald Trump, enjoy immunity from criminal prosecution for conduct involving official acts during tenure in office.

Trump hailed the 6-3 decision as a "big win for our Constitution and democracy" while legal scholars said it essentially derails at least until after the November election special counsel Jack Smith's prosecution of the former president for his alleged actions on J6 as well as the other anti-Trump lawfare trials.

The Supreme Court ruled that presidents have "absolute immunity" for official "actions within his conclusive and preclusive constitutional authority" and instructed the lower trial courts to hold specific evidentiary trials on each anti-Trump criminal count to determine which counts, if any, apply to non-immune acts. The Court ruled that presidents do not have immunity for non-official conduct.

Trump wrote on Truth Social: "Today’s Historic Decision by the Supreme Court should end all of Crooked Joe Biden’s Witch Hunts against me, including the New York Hoaxes — The Manhattan SCAM cooked up by Soros backed D.A., Alvin Bragg, Racist New York Attorney General Tish James’ shameless ATTACK on the amazing business that I have built, and the FAKE Bergdorf’s 'case.' PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN!"

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the majority: "In dividing official from unofficial conduct, courts may not inquire into the President’s motives," the Court ruled. "Whenever the President and Vice President discuss their official responsibilities, they engage in official conduct.

"The indictment’s allegations that Trump attempted to pressure the Vice President to take particular acts in connection with his role at the certification proceeding thus involve official conduct, and Trump is at least presumptively immune from prosecution for such conduct."

The Court concluded: "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 under our system of separated powers, the President may not be prosecuted for exercising his core constitutional powers, and he is entitled to at least presumptive immunity from prosecution for his official acts. That immunity applies equally to all occupants of the Oval Office."

In his concurrence with the majority, Justice Clarence Thomas questioned the constitutionality of special counsel Smith's office.

"If there is no law establishing the office that the Special Counsel occupies, then he cannot proceed with this prosecution. A private citizen cannot criminally prosecute anyone, let alone a former President," Thomas wrote.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote in a dissenting opinion that the ruling "makes a mockery of the principle, foundational to our constitution and system of government, that no man is above the law. Relying on little more than its own misguided wisdom… the court gives former President Trump all the immunity he asked for and more."

Investigative reporter Julie Kelly noted in a Facebook post: "It is impossible to overstate how f*cking stupid Sonia Sotomayor is. The real question is, did she cry after she wrote this."

Roberts said in response to the dissenting opinions of Sotomayor and Justices Elena Kagan and Ketanji Brown Jackson: "Despite the unprecedented nature of this case, the significant constitutional questions that it raises, its expedited treatment in the lower courts and in this Court, the lack of factual analysis in the lower courts, and the lack of briefing on how to categorize the conduct alleged, the principal dissent would go ahead and declare all of it unofficial.

"The other dissent, meanwhile, analyzes the case under comprehensive models and paradigms of its own concoction and accuses the Court of providing 'no meaningful guidance about how to apply [the] new paradigm or how to categorize a President’s conduct.' It would have us exhaustively define every application of Presidential immunity. Our dissenting colleagues exude an impressive infallibility. While their confidence may be inspiring, the Court adheres to time-tested practices instead — deciding what is required to dispose of this case and remanding after 'revers[ing] on a threshold question.'"

Trump White House advisor Garrett Ziegler noted in a social media post: "The President 'shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed . . . .' Period.
The Chief Executive has a duty to Take Care that the federal voting laws — i.e. the CONSTITUTION aka the Time, Place, and Manner Clauses — are FAITHFULLY EXECUTED. THEY WERE NOT. So many stupid legal expenses when all one had to do was read the Take Care Clause carefully."

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