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 February 7, 2024

Immunity decision against Trump quotes conservative Justice Kavanaugh

In a decisive ruling, a Washington, D.C., appeals court delivered a comprehensive critique of Donald Trump's assertion of "presidential immunity" against criminal proceedings, citing Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh among its rebukes.

Trump's repeated claims of immunity from prosecution for his attempts to influence the outcome of the 2020 election have been grounded in the argument that the separation of powers bars state and federal officials from adjudicating official presidential actions.

The decision

He has leaned heavily on the 1803 Supreme Court case Marbury v. Madison as legal precedent for this stance.

The three-judge panel presiding over the appeals court dismissed Trump's interpretation, asserting that while the separation of powers doctrine may shield lawful discretionary acts, it does not categorically shield a former President from federal criminal prosecution for all official acts.

The judges bolstered their argument by referencing the 1882 case United States v. Lee, highlighting the fundamental principle that no individual, regardless of their position, stands above the law.

Quoting Kavanaugh

They emphasized Justice Kavanaugh's concurrence in the 2020 case Trump v. Vance, where the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance's right to access Trump's tax records for an investigation into hush-money payments to Stormy Daniels.

Kavanaugh underscored that this principle of legal accountability applies universally, even to the highest office in the land.

Of notable significance is the strategic inclusion of Kavanaugh's opinion in the appeals court's ruling, which serves to dispel any insinuations of the justice being beholden to Trump's interests.

Despite Kavanaugh's appointment to the Supreme Court by Trump, his impartiality and commitment to upholding the rule of law shine through in the appeals court's decision.

Trump's appeal

Trump is widely anticipated to appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court before the impending deadline.

If the high court elects to take up the case, the prevailing sentiment suggests a growing likelihood that the justices will align with the lower courts' rulings regarding Trump's immunity from prosecution.

This potential outcome underscores the judiciary's steadfast commitment to impartiality and the rule of law, irrespective of political affiliations or the stature of the individuals involved.

The latest twist in the legal battle against the former president seeks to use conservative justices against him as multiple cases continue to push back at his attempt to run for the White House in November.

Written By:
Dillon Burroughs

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