Conservative Justices appear to side with Trump in immunity case

 April 28, 2024

It appears that several of the U.S. Supreme Court's conservative members agreed with former President Donald Trump's presidential immunity argument. 

This was suggested, according to Fox News, by the sort of questions that these justices asked during oral arguments that took place this week.

At the very least, Justices John Roberts, Neil Gorsuch, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito all made it clear that they support some form of presidential immunity for presidents who are engaged in official duties.

This case could not only have a huge impact on American politics - by helping to place boundaries on the presidential immunity doctrine, but it can also have a huge impact on the ongoing prosecutions of Trump.

Thomas strikes

Among those Supreme Court justices who agree with Trump, according to Mediaite, is Clarence Thomas.

It is worth noting that Thomas is usually one of the quieter justices during oral arguments. But, not on this occasion.

Thomas, here, smacked down a line of argument put forth by the government against Trump. The attorney, Michael Dreeben, attempted to argue that presidents ought not to have immunity for official actions if those actions are "treason, sedition, murder, and, here, conspiring to use fraud to overturn the results of an election and perpetuate himself in power."

Thomas, though, wasn't having it. He, at one point, said:

In the not so distant past, the presidents or certain presidents have engaged in various activity, coups, or operations like Operation Mongoose when I was a teenager, and yet there were no prosecutions. Why? If if what you’re saying is right, it would seem that that would have been ripe for, criminal prosecution of someone.

Gorsuch joins in

Another justice who went on the offensive against the government is Neil Gorsuch. He attempted to tie Dreeben in knots by asking:

Let’s say a president leads a mostly peaceful protest sit-in in front of Congress because he objects to a piece of legislation that’s going through. And it, in fact, delays the proceedings in Congress. Now under 1512(c)(2), that might be corruptly impeding an official proceeding. Is that core and therefore immunized or whatever word euphemism you want to use for that? Or is that not core and therefore prosecutable?

The Washington Examiner reports that Dreeben "admitted that a former president probably could not be prosecuted for the conduct Gorsuch described after that president leaves office."

It's looking good for Trump

In fact, Trump's attorney, in the case, believes that they are likely to get a win from the Supreme Court.

Will Scharf said, "We feel as though our arguments were largely vindicated by what transpired in front of the Supreme Court today."

No one, of course, can say with certainty how the justices will rule.

The decision will likely not be made until June.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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