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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Has Trump Been Arrested? The Supreme Court’s Historic Decision: Trump’s Fate and the Court’s Legacy

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Supreme Court to Decide Trump’s Fate — and Its Own

There is more at stake at the Supreme Court on Thursday than in any other court date former President Trump has had. This case holds significance not just for him and the office of the presidency, but also for the court itself.

The Power to Make or Break

The court is set to hear oral arguments beginning at 10am over Trump’s claim of immunity from prosecution for his role in the events of January 6th. He argues that every president is immune from prosecution for any actions taken while in office. This theory of presidential power is one of the most sweeping ever articulated.

The stakes for Trump are enormous, but the stakes for the high court are even higher. Beyond the legal questions involved, the court is almost on trial itself. A ruling that shields Trump from prosecution, especially one handed down by a court on which he appointed one-third of the justices, could damage the court’s image as an institution above politics.

A Question of Precedent

There is very little precedent about how presidents interact with the civil and criminal justice systems. Most of it stems from a small handful of cases involving former Presidents Nixon and Clinton, none of which have answered a question as sweeping as this one. Whatever the court decides here will shape the presidency forever.

The Strategy of Delay

Trump’s lawyers have consistently pursued a strategy of delaying court proceedings as much as possible, ideally until after the election. They have largely succeeded, including in this case where the justices rejected the request to expedite the proceedings. Even if the court rules that the case can proceed, it is unlikely to be finished by inauguration day.

Trump has already achieved some significant victories at the high court. It unanimously rejected efforts by blue states to keep him off the ballot and appears poised to scale back charges against other defendants related to the events of January 6th, which would also benefit Trump.

The Blockbuster Ruling

The court’s ruling in this case will likely be the most significant ruling of the term. While the justices will be handing down rulings on abortion, gun rights, and the federal government’s regulatory power, none of these cases can match the near-term, election-year consequences or the historic, democracy-defining implications of the Trump immunity case.

The decision made by the Supreme Court will not only impact Trump’s future but also shape the perception and role of the court as an institution. This case highlights the delicate balance between the powers of the presidency and the accountability of the justice system, leaving a lasting impact on the legacy of both Trump and the court.

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