Supreme Court Grants Trump “Presumptive” Immunity, Sends Case Back to Lower Courts

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In reference to a legal battle involving Donald Trump’s charges of election interference, the Supreme Court ruled on Monday that US presidents have absolute immunity from criminal charges regarding actions that fall within their constitutional authority, and that Trump is “entitled to at least presumptive immunity” from prosecution of such acts. They affirmed that there is “no immunity for unofficial acts.” The Justices also ordered lower courts to take up the case again, asking that they determine how to apply this ruling to Trump’s situation.

The decision explains that the case arose when Trump cited his Presidential immunity after being indicted for conspiring to overturn the election through allegations of voter fraud, claiming that it fell within his official duties as president and therefore he could not be prosecuted for it. The District Court retorted that former presidents do not have federal immunity for criminal acts, which was affirmed by the DC Circuit as well, but neither court released a decision on whether the charge Trump received could be defined as an official duty.

The Supreme Court further delayed the Washington criminal case on election overturning, effectively ensuring he will not be tried before November until further notice.

Trump’s son, Don Jr., called the ruling “solid” but speculated that the “corrupt prosecutors” and the “DC” judge will pursue their “lawfare” against his father: “it’s all they have left.”

In a video to his supporters, Donald Trump said a president “cannot function” without immunity, as their every move would be blackmailed by political opponents.

Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the immunity ruling was a “disgraceful decision” that “undermines SCOTUS’s credibility.” Justice Sonia Sotomayor dissented with the majority opinion, criticizing conservatives for allegedly breaking with precedents established by the founding fathers. She said the ruling was “utterly indefensible” and elevated the president to “a king above the law.”