The people's voice of reason

Supreme Court says presidents have 'absolute' immunity for clearly official acts

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court has issued a ruling that Presidents have 'absolute' immunity for clearly official acts; however Presidents have no immunity for unofficial acts.

The Supreme Court ruling was passed on a 6 to 3 vote. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the majority opinion. Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote the dissenting opinion.

"A former president is entitled to absolute immunity from criminal prosecution for actions within his "conclusive and preclusive constitutional authority," the nation's highest court said in the ruling. "At least with respect to the president's exercise of his core constitutional powers, this immunity must be absolute. As for his remaining official actions, he is entitled to at least presumptive immunity."

"There is no immunity for unofficial acts," Justice Roberts wrote.

Monday's ruling puts much of special prosecutor Jack Smith's case against former President Donald J. Trump's (R) in legal jeopardy. Trump's legal defense team is claiming that he had immunity from criminal prosecution due to his role as President of the United States. The Trump team's appeal of his federal indictment had frozen his case awaiting on the Supreme Court to issue guidance. Federal special prosecutors maintain the Trump acted criminally by his encouragement of rioters on January 6 and his effort to try to have the results invalidated. Trump faces related criminal charges in the state of Georgia.

"Today's decision to grant former presidents criminal immunity reshapes the institution of the Presidency," Justice Sotomayor wrote. Justices Elena Kagan and Ketanji Brown Jackson sides with Sotomayor. "It makes a mockery of the principle, foundational to our Constitution and system of government, that no man is above the law."

The Trump case is now being sent back to the lower court for them to set a trial date.

Prosecutors are hopeful that they can hold his trial before the November 5 general election, or at least before the inauguration. This ruling likely makes that schedule somewhat difficult.

There were partisan anti-Trump demonstrators outside the Supreme Court on Monday as the ruling came down.

This ruling could also have an impact on the Georgia election interference case, where the former president and several allies are accused of criminally conspiring to try to overturn Trump's 2020 election loss in the state.

Trump declared victory on Truth Social after the ruling was released.

"BIG WIN FOR OUR CONSTITUTION AND DEMOCRACY. PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN!" Trump wrote on Truth Social minutes after the ruling was released by the court.

District Judge Tanya Chutkan is presiding over the case.

Judge Chutkan will now be called on to rule on a Trump defense motion asking that the case be dismissed. If Churkan rules that Trump was acting in his official capacity as President of the United States then prosecutors cannot charge him. If Churkan rules that Trump was acting in an unofficial role the trial would proceed; but that ruling is likely to be challenged by the defense team.

This ruling has no effect on the civil ruling against Trump or the 34 counts he was convicted of because those actions all occurred before he was President so he has no immunity from prosecution.

Trump has accused Democrats and the Department of Justice of weaponizing the legal system against him because he is President Joseph R. Biden's (D) political opponent.

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