Former US President Donald Trump asked the US Supreme Court docket on Monday to listen to his attraction of a decision from the US Court docket of Appeals for the DC Circuit, which denied Trump’s declare of “absolute” presidential immunity from legal prosecution within the federal 2020 election interference case in opposition to him. In doing so, Trump additionally requested the courtroom to increase a keep on trial courtroom proceedings. The DC Circuit stated it might issue its mandate within the case on Monday, which might have resumed trial courtroom proceedings which have been on pause since Trump filed his first attraction on the difficulty.
Trump’s submitting to the Supreme Court docket served two functions. First, it requested that the courtroom challenge a keep of the decrease courtroom proceedings. With out that keep, the trial courtroom proceedings are more likely to recommence instantly. Trump seeks to delay these proceedings whereas he continues to hunt an attraction of his declare of immunity. Second, the submitting served as a writ of certiorari by asking the courtroom to take up his attraction of the immunity challenge.
In requesting a keep, Trump argued that his case “simply satisfies [the court’s] conventional elements for granting a keep of the mandate.” Trump claimed that the courtroom is more likely to grant his attraction as a result of the difficulty is “of crucial public significance.” He additionally asserted that the courtroom is able to reverse the DC Circuit resolution. In doing so, Trump described the DC Circuit resolution as a “gorgeous breach of precedent and historic norms” and echoed his counsel’s arguments made earlier than the circuit bench. Trump warned that, if the courtroom had been to not take up the attraction, he would endure irreparable hurt by sitting by means of a trial in the identical yr as a presidential election—through which he’s at the moment the leading candidate for the Republican Social gathering.
Taking all these elements collectively, Trump requested that the Supreme Court docket keep the DC Circuit’s mandate. He additionally indicated that he intends to hunt en banc evaluate earlier than the total bench of judges on the DC Circuit. Trump said that he intends to take action “within the atypical course earlier than looking for (if essential) [the Supreme Court’s] evaluate.”
Within the writ of certiorari portion of his submitting, Trump requested the courtroom to think about two questions on attraction:
- “Whether or not the doctrine of absolute presidential immunity contains immunity from legal prosecution for a President’s official acts;” and
- “Whether or not the Impeachment Judgment Clause … and ideas of double jeopardy foreclose the legal prosecution of a President who has been impeached and acquitted by the U.S. Senate for a similar and/or intently associated conduct that underlies the legal costs.”
Trump claimed that the courtroom ought to look at the DC Circuit attraction as a result of the panel of judges determined there isn’t a such factor as presidential immunity in instances of legal prosecution. Trump claimed that if the DC Circuit resolution is allowed to face, the repercussions “will dangle like a millstone round each future President’s neck, distorting Presidential decisionmaking, undermining the President’s independence, and clouding the President’s capability ‘to deal fearlessly and impartially with the duties of his workplace.’”
Trump additionally reiterated his separation of powers argument, asserting that “the Judicial Department can not sit in judgment instantly over the President’s official acts, and that any try to take action violates the separation of powers.” Trump referred the courtroom to previous instances that solely discovered courts may sit in judgment of a president’s subordinates—together with a number of instances referred to by the DC Circuit of their resolution. However, Trump famous, “[N]o courtroom has ever entered a … judgment in opposition to the President in his official acts.”
Whereas the courts have previously found that there are some situations through which presidents might obtain immunity in civil lawsuits, the courts have by no means earlier than spoken to the difficulty of presidential immunity in legal prosecutions. Due to this and the federal significance of the questions raised, Trump urged the courtroom to take up the attraction. Trump asserted that if any courtroom is to talk to the difficulty of presidential immunity from legal prosecutions for the primary time, it needs to be the Supreme Court docket.
The federal prosecutor main the case in opposition to Trump, Particular Prosecutor Jack Smith, beforehand asked the Supreme Court docket to take up the difficulty on December 11, 2023, however the courtroom refused with out offering its reasoning for doing so. The courtroom now has the chance to think about whether or not they may hear the difficulty once more. 4 of the 9 justices must agree they need to hear the case to take up the attraction.