, ,

Trump To Get Full Immunity From SCOTUS?

A Supreme Court ruling on former President Trump’s claims of immunity from criminal prosecution is poised to cast a significant shadow over his debate this week with President Biden. The central issue at hand is whether Trump can be shielded from prosecution for specific actions taken during his presidency. This decision could disrupt his ongoing criminal trials and immediately influence Thursday’s prime-time debate on CNN, where his legal predicaments are expected to be a focal point.

Grant Reeher, director of the Campbell Public Affairs Institute at Syracuse University, notes that any Supreme Court decision favoring or disfavoring Trump would likely become a major talking point in the debate. The Court is scheduled to release its opinions on Wednesday and Thursday mornings, providing two potential opportunities for this pivotal ruling to emerge before the debate.

Should the decision not be announced on these days, Friday morning remains the final opinion day of the week. However, a backlog of other high-profile cases could delay the announcement into the following week, potentially missing the self-imposed deadline of the last Friday in June for issuing decisions for the term.

Trump’s challenge, rooted in federal charges related to his efforts to overturn the 2020 election, questions whether a former president has criminal immunity for official acts conducted while in office. During April’s arguments, the justices indicated they might rule that former presidents can be prosecuted for “private conduct” while retaining immunity for actions central to their presidential duties—a potential middle-ground approach.

Trump has emphasized the importance of the immunity case for months, frequently posting on Truth Social that a ruling against him would impair a president’s ability to perform their duties without fear of prosecution. Even if the ruling doesn’t come up explicitly during Thursday’s debate, its implications will undeniably loom over the event.

Biden is expected to challenge Trump’s suitability for office, highlighting the former president’s extensive legal troubles, including his conviction on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in New York. Trump also faces federal charges in Washington, D.C., over his attempts to subvert the 2020 election results, state charges in Georgia related to efforts to overturn the state’s 2020 election results, and charges in Florida concerning the handling of classified documents post-presidency.

Republican strategists anticipate that Biden will focus heavily on these indictments, character issues, and events like January 6. Biden’s campaign has recently ramped up its rhetoric, releasing an ad describing Trump as a “convicted criminal” and referring to him as a convicted felon at fundraising events.

If the Supreme Court rules that Trump is immune from prosecution for certain acts, it could undermine Biden’s strategy of focusing on Trump’s criminal conviction and provide Trump with a significant victory from a court to which he appointed three justices. Biden’s campaign has centered on contrasting himself with Trump on issues like democracy, respect for institutions, and character, and this approach will likely persist regardless of the ruling.

While Biden may also face questions regarding his son Hunter Biden’s recent conviction on three felony gun charges, he has consistently maintained that he accepts the judicial outcome and has ruled out any possibility of a pardon or commutation.

Trump, on the other hand, is expected to frame his prosecutions as political interference by Democrats attempting to block his bid for a second term. Despite advisers emphasizing that Trump aims to focus on issues like inflation and immigration during the debate, his frequent outbursts on Truth Social demonstrate his propensity to criticize the legal system whenever it suits him.

Latest News »