Supreme Court sets a date for Trump immunity arguments

 March 7, 2024

The Supreme Court has set a date for its momentous hearing on Donald Trump's immunity claim. 

The justices had already signaled they would take the case last week, infuriating Democrats who feared the move jeopardized any hope of prosecuting Trump over January 6th before the 2024 election.

The court will hear arguments in the case on April 25.

Date set in Trump's immunity case

In the end, the calendar date may end up mattering more than the substance of the arguments themselves.

Regardless of how the court rules, the time it spends weighing the issue will delay the trial, perhaps to the point where it doesn't happen at all. The trial, which is paused, was originally scheduled to begin on March 4 - the day before Super Tuesday.

The question the court will consider is an unprecedented one: whether presidents have immunity from prosecution over "official acts."

Trump has said that presidents must have criminal immunity in order to perform their duties without fear of retaliation from rogue prosecutors.

Otherwise, he says, the presidency would become a merely "ceremonial position."

Democrats, by contrast, argue that Trump is asserting the power of a king.

While it's unclear how the Supreme Court will rule on immunity, the justices unanimously shut down legal efforts to disqualify him from the presidency in a momentous ruling Monday.

The court ruled that Congress, not individual states, has the authority to enforce language in the Fourteenth Amendment banning "insurrectionists" from federal office.

Trump's legal calendar clears

Trump is facing three other criminal cases, only one of which appears certain to go to trial. That case, over hush money, is generally seen as the least serious of the four.

The January 6th trial is without a doubt the most significant of the bunch, so a scenario in which the case is tabled would be a massive tailwind for Trump's campaign.

Democrats fear that if Trump wins a second term, he will pardon himself and avoid facing trial completely.

The prosecutor in Trump's January 6th case, Jack Smith, has repeatedly cited a vague need for urgency, without specifically mentioning the election.

While Trump accuses Smith of election interference, Democrats say Smith is on a mission to save "our democracy."

In an ironic twist, Democrats may have no alternative now but to beat Trump at the ballot box.

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