By
Ryan Ledendecker
|
November 28, 2023
|
11:35 pm

D.C. appeals court taking 'extraordinarily' long to rule on Trump immunity argument

Former President Donald Trump is fighting on multiple legal fronts, and many of them haven't received much in the way of media attention.

Some of those include lawsuits brought against the former president last year by Capitol Police officers and members of Congress, who accused Trump and his inner circle of of inciting the Jan. 6 Capitol protests.

A trio of lawsuits from those people, according to Politico, have stalled in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals since they were originally argued last December, and do not look as though they're going anywhere.

Some of the people behind the lawsuits, including Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA), have complained at the unusually long delay in action being taken on the cases, which usually happens within about four months of a filing.

"I am surprised how long it’s taking. The delay does seem unusual, but I’m hopeful we’ll get a decision," Swalwell said.

The baseline argument is whether or not Trump can be sued for words that he said that may or may not have led to inciting the events of Jan. 6.

Politico noted:

A three-judge panel of the appeals court is mulling a thorny constitutional question that hangs over each of the cases: whether Trump can be sued over his speech to an angry crowd on Jan. 6, 2021, just before the deadly riot at the Capitol.

Trump and his legal team argued that the former president had immunity from such lawsuits.

The eventual outcome of the lawsuits could have implications for the similar indictments he faces, both federally and from the state level. Many believe that the lawsuits could result in a Supreme Court challenge at some point.

Politico added:

That’s because Trump is raising similar immunity defenses in his criminal prosecutions. Whatever the higher courts say about the scope of presidential immunity in the civil context will set an important precedent for the trial judges who will soon need to resolve Trump’s efforts to toss out his criminal charges on immunity grounds.

Other legal experts, such as University of Richmond law professor Carl Tobias, noted that the appeals court seems to be taking much longer than usual, and it's unclear why.

"It seems like it’s extraordinarily long, even for the D.C. Circuit," Tobias said.

Both Trump's side and prosecutors in several other cases are waiting to see what happens with the appeals court ruling, as one way or another, it will set some kind of precedent.

Only time will tell where things will go as Trump's legal situation continues to evolve.

Written By:
Ryan Ledendecker

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