The Insightful Troll

Rants and ruminations.

With Fear for Our Democracy, I Dissent

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Supreme Court

The Supreme Court ruled today that Donald Trump may claim immunity from criminal prosecution for some of the actions he took as president in a decision that will likely further delay a trial on the federal election subversion charges against him. The decision was 6-3, with the liberals in dissent.

From Justice Sotomayor’s dissent (starting on page 96):

The President of the United States is the most powerful person in the country, and possibly the world. When he uses his official powers in any way, under the majority’s reasoning, he now will be insulated from criminal prosecution. Orders the Navy’s Seal Team 6 to assassinate a political rival? Immune. Organizes a military coup to hold onto power? Immune. Takes a bribe in exchange for a pardon? Immune. Immune, immune, immune.

Let the President violate the law, let him exploit the trappings of his office for personal gain, let him use his official power for evil ends. Because if he knew that he may one day face liability for breaking the law, he might not be as bold and fearless as we would like him to be. That is the majority’s message today.

Even if these nightmare scenarios never play out, and I pray they never do, the damage has been done. The relationship between the President and the people he serves has shifted irrevocably. In every use of official power, the President is now a king above the law.

And in closing:

Never in the history of our Republic has a President had reason to believe that he would be immune from criminal prosecution if he used the trappings of his office to violate the criminal law. Moving forward, however, all former Presidents will be cloaked in such immunity. If the occupant of that office misuses official power for personal gain, the criminal law that the rest of us must abide will not provide a backstop.

With fear for our democracy, I dissent.

We can never again say that no one one in our nation is above the law. In the United States, the President is above the law. I am in shock.