Tuesday, July 02, 2024

Not So Fast, Donald!

Many people are upset over the recent decision by the conservative Supreme Court that covers presidential immunity. Some think that this gives Donald Trump carte blanche to do anything he wants and exonerates him from all his past misdeeds. Among those celebrating is Trump himself.

Not so fast, Donald.

The wording of the decision is very important. 

“A former president is entitled to absolute immunity from criminal prosecution for actions within his ‘conclusive and preclusive constitutional authority,’ ” the ruling says. “There is no immunity for unofficial acts.”

That's pretty cut and dried.

It also says that the immunity covers official acts while he was president.

That has some very strong implications that a smart attorney could use.

1) Was he president when he committed these acts?

This is important because, in the case of the New York fraud convictions, these crimes took place before his inauguration in January 2016. 

Those convictions would still stand.

With the documents charges (which include espionage), those charges were for crimes after his term had ended and, therefore, still stand because presidential immunity wouldn't apply to a former president.

2) Were the acts part of his official duties?

Article II, sections 2 and 3 of the Constitution spell out the powers and duties of the president.

Would calling officials in Georgia to get them to change the outcome of the election fall under these powers? How would such a call fall under "conclusive and preclusive constitutional authority?" 

From where I'm sitting, this ruling doesn't change a damned thing and the prosecutions, as they now stand, should proceed without further delay.

I'm not a legal scholar so I need someone in the know to point out any flaws in my logic here.