Trump will not ask Supreme Court to weigh in on civil immunity defense

 February 17, 2024

Besides the 91 criminal charges former President Donald Trump faces, he is also dealing with three civil lawsuits from a Capitol police officer and lawmakers who were in the Capitol when a large group of purported Trump supporters stormed the building and occupied it for several hours on January 6, 2021. 

Trump has claimed the same immunity defense in those cases as he has in his criminal trial, arguing that any actions he took fell under the scope of his duties as president.

He asked for the cases to be dismissed because of immunity, but like the criminal court, the immunity defense was denied by the lower court and appeals court as a basis to dismiss the case.

Trump has now let a Thursday deadline pass to file a petition for the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on the appeal. This means the appeals court ruling will stand, but the appeals court specified that Trump will get to develop the immunity defense within the trial, and could then ask for a dismissal again.

Tough argument

It's going to be a tough argument to make, because the DC Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Trump was not acting as president on January 6, he was acting as a political candidate.

This argument seems convincing, especially to those who already hate Trump and think he was responsible for the Capitol breach on January 6.

It's only one line of defense in these cases, and probably not the strongest one.

After all, Trump did not tell anyone to breach the Capitol, he asked them to be peaceful, and he used social media to tell them to clear out and leave the area as the breach continued.

Not going to be easy

Proving that he was legally responsible for the events of that day is not going to be easy, even if Democrats have already convicted him in the court of (liberal) public opinion.

Both the criminal and civil cases will be an uphill battle for punishing Trump once they get out of the local DC courts and into the appeals process where Democrat majorities are not as prevalent.

Nothing about prosecuting Trump has gone according to Democrat plans so far.

Most of the cases are being delayed by procedural filings and appeals to pretrial rulings, and Trump is on track to avoid most of the actual trials for months and maybe until after the election in November.

If he can do so, he could potentially get elected and pardon himself from most of the charges. Others including some civil cases could get shelved until he leaves office four years later, and may get lost in the shuffle in that period of time.

Despite the sheer number of legal cases thrown at Trump in an attempt to beat him down until he removes himself as a candidate, it may all end up coming to nothing--and let's face it, probably about 95% of the cases or more are either flat-out unfair or not serious enough to bother charging a former president with.

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