April 18, 2024

DOJ Struggles to Impress Supreme Court on J6 Charges

The Supreme Court heard arguments this week regarding the case of Joseph Fischer.

He is one of about 300 January 6 defendants, including Donald Trump, who have been charged with obstruction.

The DOJ had to present its case in court, and some legal experts believe it failed. This could dramatically impact every case involving the same charges.

Not Impressed

The question here is if rioters from January 6 can be charged with obstructing an official proceeding.

The conservative justices on the bench fired off questions that suggest they are leaning more towards dismissing the charges rather than allowing them to stand.

For instance, Justice Gorsuch equated the obstruction charges to the actions of Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.).

If you recall, Bowman pulled a fire alarm in the Capitol during a vote, yet he got off, more or less, scot-free.

He also questioned if heckling during a State of the Union address would warrant the same charges.

His point was that previously, the DOJ had warned that obstruction charges needed to be in a very narrow window to not risk overreach on the part of the government.

Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar did her best to make an argument to support the charges, but her argument was routinely challenged by the justices.

Most of the time, however, she shrugged it off and did what Democrats have been doing for most of the last decade… since she said it was true, it must be.

Carrie Severino, former clerk for Justice Clarence Thomas and president of the Judicial Crisis Network, broke it down, stating that the government "had a hard time explaining how this wasn't going to be such a broad, open door that it could allow a lot of behavior that we clearly understand to be protected First Amendment speech – peaceful protests, etc. – to get swept in the way that they're charging it.

"There’s not a First Amendment right to trespass or to block things.

“But I think you do have to worry about … this is an incredibly draconian type of response that could be applied to things that we absolutely wouldn't believe should be subjected to a 20-year prison sentence.”

I have read several reports on this, and it does not seem as though the justices are going to rule in favor of the DOJ on this one, but that is just based on their questions and comments during the proceedings.

Now, it is a waiting game to see how the rule will come down. It will likely come down in June unless they decide to expedite the ruling because it could impact the charges against Donald Trump.

Don't Wait
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