Democrats complain loudly about favoritism toward Trump from SCOTUS justices, Judge Cannon in Florida

 May 4, 2024

To many Americans, it appears that most of the judges former President Donald Trump has faced in his multiple ongoing and prior criminal and civil cases are overtly biased against him and have mistreated him.

Yet, some Democrats view things differently and are complaining loudly about a single federal judge and a handful of Supreme Court justices who appear to be neutral or even side with Trump on some of his legal defense arguments, according to The Hill.

They have harshly criticized District Judge Aileen Cannon for her handling of Special Counsel Jack Smith's classified documents case against Trump as well as the few conservative-leaning justices on the Supreme Court who didn't outright dismiss Trump's claim of presidential immunity from prosecution.

Further delays in Trump's election interference case would be a "travesty"

Oral arguments on former President Trump's immunity claim were heard at the Supreme Court on April 25, and SCOTUSblog reported that a majority of the justices seemed inclined to eventually rule, likely in June or July, that former presidents like Trump enjoy at least some measure of immunity from prosecution after leaving office for official acts while they were still serving.

If that is indeed how the high court ultimately rules, the most likely result would be for Trump's federal election interference case to be remanded back to the D.C. district court for more hearings to determine whether or not his alleged criminal acts are covered by presidential immunity or not -- a process that could take months and would almost certainly delay any eventual trial until after November's election.

That result would be a "travesty," according to Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN), per The Hill. She said, "Of course it’s deeply concerning that it’s taking them so damn long to get to this. It took so long to hear the arguments and now we don’t know how long it will take them to issue their opinion."

"It would be really outrageous if the court were to find that presidents are immune for all their conduct in office," Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) lamented. "We have a system where -- as many have already said -- the whole idea was to create a democracy and not have an all-powerful king that could violate the laws of the land with impunity. And God help us if we open the door to presidents being able to commit crimes with impunity."

SCOTUS ruling in Trump's favor would place presidents "above the law," spark further "reform" efforts

The Hill reported that several top Democrats took issue with the extreme hypotheticals the Supreme Court justices considered -- which is standard fare for most cases that reach the high court -- and complained, as they so frequently have in the past, that any ruling in former President Trump's favor would mean that he is "above the law" and unaccountable for his actions.

"We have to wait and see how this ends, but I’m troubled by the notion that the president is above the law. I don’t believe that," Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said. "I think some of the examples that were used in the courtroom of a president ordering the military to off an individual because he considers him a threat to his administration is an indication of taking this to the extreme. I’m going to watch carefully and see what this court decides, but to say the president is above the law is, I think, inconsistent with our Constitution."

Outspoken Trump critic Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) said she was "not happy" with how the Supreme Court has handled the former president's immunity claim and complained, "We know that the Trump team’s [strategy] for any of these indictments is to delay everything. They seem to be succeeding in that regard."

"It makes me want to look at the Supreme Court," she added. "I have already signed onto a bill that would change how the Supreme Court is composed, and so that’s where I am. I think we need to have court reform."

Judge Cannon also criticized for her handling of classified documents case

The Hill also noted that several Democrats have expressed outrage that Judge Cannon has not totally ruled out former President Trump's claim in the classified documents case that he was authorized to retain such materials upon leaving office under the Presidential Records Act that allows presidents to differentiate between "presidential" and "personal" records.

Politico reported in early April that Cannon dismissed that claim, albeit only temporarily and without prejudice, meaning the defense argument can be raised again at trial. The outlet also noted that Cannon seemed to chastise Special Counsel Smith for his "unprecedented and unjust" demand that she immediately and completely reject that claim.

"I think too many of Trump’s appointments, nominees -- including, by the way, the Supreme Court -- they have an ideological agenda, and that is not what we expect of our judges," Sen. Hirono told The Hill. "What I expect of judges is fair, impartial rendering of decisions based on facts and precedent. That is not what’s happening with either the Supreme Court and a judge like Aileen Cannon."

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