Legal Experts React To SCOTUS Immunity Ruling: Turns Jack Smith’s Indictment Into ‘Swiss Cheese’

 Various respectable legal analysts weighed in on the Supreme Court’s ruling this week that presidents have immunity from criminal prosecution for official acts by noting that the decision severely damages the criminal cases against former President Donald Trump.

Justices voted 6-3 along ideological lines in the decision and sent the case in which Trump pleaded not guilty to charges accusing him of unlawfully plotting to overturn the results of the 2020 election back to a lower D.C. court for further review.

“The President is not above the law,” the ruling said. “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.”

Elie Honig, CNN’s senior legal analyst and former assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, debunked Democrat talking points that claimed that the ruling gives presidents unlimited unaccountable power.

“No president or former president has all-encompassing, ‘blanket’ coverage,” he wrote in an op-ed. “According to the decision, the boss is immune for anything within “the ‘outer perimeter’ of the President’s official responsibilities, covering actions so long as they are ‘not manifestly or palpably beyond his authority.'”

He also debunked claims from left-wing activists that presidents could now assassinate their political rivals and claim that it was an “official act.”

“Justice Sonia Sotomayor argues that the Court’s ruling would permit a president to order an assassination without consequences, but I respectfully dissent from that dissent,” he wrote. “I don’t see any way a court concludes that such a plot would be an ‘official act’ within the scope of the job.”

Honig added that special counsel Jack Smith’s 2020 election case will under no circumstance go to trial this year and the other criminal cases he faces have all been weakened as a result.

“Smith’s 2020 election case won’t happen before the election — or maybe even in 2025, given that he can go through the whole appeal process again — and his indictment will look like Swiss cheese once all the official acts are removed,” he wrote. “Fulton County district attorney Fani Willis’s election-subversion indictment was already circling the drain on its own demerits, and now it faces the same immunity problems as Smith’s case. Trump also has claimed immunity in Smith’s federal classified-documents case and, while it’s tough to imagine how he could be immune for conduct that occurred entirely after he left office, Trump will have a renewed argument that he obtained the government documents in the first place as part of his job as president. Even the Manhattan hush-money conviction now stands in doubt. Watch for Trump to argue that some of the evidence admitted against him — including conversations he had with White House adviser Hope Hicks, while he was in office in 2017 — is entitled to immunity and was wrongly admitted at trial. It’s all a big mess, far more so now than it was yesterday.”

Carrie Severino, president of the Judicial Crisis Network (JCN), posted on X that the Supreme Court “crafted a sensible line regarding immunity that balances the historical presumption that presidents are subject to some potential liability for their actions with the president’s need to be able to exercise executive power under Article II without courts second-guessing his judgment.”

“The Court noted the threat to a President’s ability to do his job boldly if he were immediately faced with a bevy of lawsuits upon leaving office—something that until recently was almost unheard-of but may be part of the new normal in our current environment of lawfare and polarization,” she continued. “Going forward, courts determining whether an action is covered by immunity will begin by assessing the President’s authority to take that action. Courts cannot consider a president’s motives when making this assessment. Today’s decision says that such a ‘highly intrusive’ inquiry would risk exposing even the most obvious instances of official conduct to judicial examination on the mere allegation of improper purpose.”

She added that the ruling “may undercut Biden’s attempt to use government prosecutors to attack his political rival, but in the long term it will benefit him as it does Trump by shielding him from some liability for his own actions in office.”

Legal Experts React To SCOTUS Immunity Ruling: Turns Jack Smith’s Indictment Into ‘Swiss Cheese’ Legal Experts React To SCOTUS Immunity Ruling: Turns Jack Smith’s Indictment Into ‘Swiss Cheese’ Reviewed by Your Destination on July 02, 2024 Rating: 5

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