Trump Team Asks SCOTUS to Stay Immunity Ruling

USA Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C. with a cloudy blue sky background.

(IntegrityPress.org) – Former President Trump’s legal team filed a new application to the U.S. Supreme Court on February 12 to stay a ruling from a D.C. Appeals Court that overturned the historical precedent that presidents are immune from criminal prosecution for their official acts.

Trump’s attorneys argue that Special Counsel Jack Smith previously sought an accelerated timetable from the SCOTUS on the question of presidential immunity which was rejected by the court, citing their need for input from lower courts to fulfill their oversight function. The Washington, D.C.-based Appeals Court gave Smith the ruling he wanted overturning 234 years of precedent, according to the filing.

Trump’s lawyers suggested that presidential immunity is a basic requirement if the chief executive is to remain free to make the best decisions possible without the ever-present threat of potential prosecution looming over him after his term expires. Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung suggested that every future president will be indicted by the opposition, hamstringing every future administration.

Cheung added that the prosecution of a president for official acts was unconstitutional.

The court in question is a three-judge panel; two are Biden appointees and one is a George H.W. Bush appointee. All of the judges on the panel are women. In their unanimous decision brief, they said that while he was immune from prosecution during his tenure, he is not protected after leaving office.

The panel added that the “interest” in prosecuting Trump for his potential “criminal” acts outweighed the concerns of setting a new precedent which would create future vexatious litigation and chill presidential actions. They added that the chilling of presidential behavior was positive, suggesting it could “deter possible abuses.”

Lastly, Trump’s lawyers argue that the Appeals Court violated Trump’s due process rights and returned their finding, a boon for Smith, very rapidly. As such, it requests the SCOTUS stay the ruling and allow the proceedings to play out “in the ordinary course of justice.”

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