Supreme Court to rule on January 6 obstruction charges

 April 14, 2024

The justices of the U.S. Supreme Court are about to hear an important case relating to the Capitol protest of Jan. 6, 2021. 

What makes the case important is that it could have an impact on the prosecution of former President Donald Trump. Read on to see why.

The Washington Post reports that the justices will hear oral arguments in the case on Tuesday, April 16, 2024.

The key question that the justices will be looking to answer is whether or not individuals who participated in the Jan. 6 protest can be charged with obstructing an official proceeding.

The details

The law at issue in the case, according to NBC News, is U.S. Code Title 18, Section 1512(c)(2).

The outlet reports that it "criminalizes any effort to 'corruptly' obstruct, influence or impede any official proceeding." The penalty for violating the law could be as much as 20 years of imprisonment.

The Biden administration has charged over 300 of the people who were involved in the Jan. 6 protest with violating this law. Trump, too, has been charged with violating this law.

The underlying question, though, is whether this law is really applicable to this situation.

Many experts say that it is not. They argue that the Biden administration has taken this law completely out of context and that it is using this law to go after Trump and Biden's other political enemies.

Here's how this relates to Trump

To be clear, the oral arguments that the Supreme Court justices will hear this week are not oral arguments for Trump's case. Trump is not a defendant here. But, the justices ruling could still affect Trump's case.

"Trump has been charged with violating the same law, and a conspiracy provision. As such, the Supreme Court ruling could affect his prosecution too," NBC reports.

The outlet, later, notes that "Trump has cited the Fischer case, including in his most recent filing at the Supreme Court concerning his bid to obtain presidential immunity for his actions seeking to overturn the election results."

So, although Trump is not directly involved in the case that the justices will hear on Tuesday, everyone realizes that the case is likely to have a huge impact on Trump's case.

On a side note, you may be wondering how exactly Trump obstructed official proceedings on Jan. 6, 2021. This is where it gets absurd. Prosecutors claim that he did so merely by talking and by trying to put together a slate of alternate electors. If that's all that is required to obstruct an official proceeding, then a lot more politicians need to be charged.

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