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  • Writer's pictureJanuary 6th News

Supreme Court Sets Limits on Presidential Immunity, Delaying Trial on Election Interference

Lower Courts Will Decide the Extent of Presidential Immunity by Defining the Difference between “Official” and “Unofficial” Acts

The Supreme Court ruled, in a 6-3 vote, that former US Presidents, including President Donald J. Trump, are entitled to a limited degree of immunity from prosecution. They clarified that presidents have “‘absolute’ immunity for clearly official acts, but no immunity for unofficial acts.” They did not define the difference between the two. 

Their ambiguous wording will delay the federal investigation into election interference against Donald Trump, which charges him with plotting to overturn the 2020 election results, by sending the case back to lower courts to decide the definitions of “official” and “unofficial” acts. However, the Court’s decision will not cancel the impending trial. 

supreme court presidential immunity decision

Why Is Presidential Immunity Being Decided Now? 

Trump faces three conspiracy charges and one charge of obstructing an official proceeding, related to his attempts to remain in power following his 2020 election loss. He was indicted by special counsel Jack Smith in August 2023.

Trump’s legal team appealed in order to avoid trial by arguing for absolute immunity based on a broad interpretation of presidential powers, referencing a 1982 Supreme Court case that granted such immunity in civil matters for presidential actions within the “outer perimeter” of official duties. 

The Supreme Court did not grant Trump the absolute immunity he would need to have all federal charges against him dropped. The federal trial will continue after the Lower Courts decide what charges Trump may legally face, in light of the Supreme Court’s decision on presidential immunity. 


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