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April 23, 2024

Supreme Court prepares to debate Trump election interference immunity claim

Former President Donald Trump has presented an all-encompassing argument in what may be the most closely followed case of the term at the Supreme Court—one that involves the most prominent appellant—as to why he should not be tried for alleged election interference.

Arguments are scheduled to take place before the high court on Thursday morning regarding a matter that may have implications for the personal and political future of the former president, as Fox News reported.

Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee seeking re-election, is placing his bets on the legality of his constitutional assertions securing clemency from the court's 6-3 conservative majority – three of which were personally appointed to the bench by the defendant.

The primary inquiry that the justices shall deliberate upon is whether and to what degree a former president is exempt from criminal prosecution for alleged official acts committed during his term in office.

Uncharted Territory

For the nation and the Supreme Court, this is uncharted territory. No president, present or past, has ever faced criminal indictment.

The immediate election prospects, as well as the long-term impact on the presidency and the rule of law, could not be more significant.

However, this will be the second time this term that the high court hears a case in which the former president is directly involved.

The Supreme Court ruled unanimously on March 4 that Donald Trump could retain his name on the Colorado primary ballot despite allegations that he incited an uprising during the Capitol disturbances on January 6, 2021.

Uncertain Outcome

Both the Special Counsel and President Trump are uncertain about the outcome of the current immunity dispute intervention.

The defendant desired a further postponement of the proceedings, preferably beyond the November election. In contrast, Jack Smith advocated for the immediate dismissal of the high court appeal in order to expedite the resumption of the trial.

With no dissenting opinion, a federal appeals court had ruled against Trump on the issue of immunity.

"For the purpose of this criminal case, former President Trump has become citizen Trump, with all of the defenses of any other criminal defendant," the three-judge panel wrote. "But any executive immunity that may have protected him while he served as President no longer protects him against this prosecution."

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