Latest News

US Supreme Court ruling in favor of presidential immunity: A Win for the Rule of Law, for Donald Trump, and for Everyone

Bellevue—Today’s 6-3 SCOTUS decision in the Trump v. United States case is a win for the rule of law. And for Donald Trump. It’s a serious blow to left-wing attempts to weaponize our court system. So, it’s a win for all Americans.

But hysterical overreaction to the decision among left-wing partisans is a potential risk to civil order.

Technically, the decision resolves recent questions about how “presidential immunity” works in our law. The Supreme Court states that legal immunity does exist for “official” actions of a president. But not for “unofficial” actions. A president’s actions are presumed to have immunity from lawsuits, but that presumption can be overcome—and a lawsuit against a president can go forward—if an action is shown to be “unofficial.”

This distinction helps Trump as several of the most controversial allegations made against him involve actions he took in his official capacity.

There are other aspects of today’s decision that are worth noting. In his concurring opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas points out that an entity prosecuting a president must have proper Constitutional authority from the people to do so. This will likely limit the ability of “special prosecutors” and other mechanisms not clearly described in our Constitution.

Some critics of today’s decision will complain that the Supreme Court has “punted” in this decision, by leaving the distinction between “official” and “unofficial” actions to other courts. This criticism is rational and worth considering. But setting that determination as a preliminary step in any action against a president is consistent with Constitutional separation of powers and limits on government overreach.

Other criticisms of the decision are, frankly, less rational. Some partisans who revile Trump have been quick to jump to hysterical conclusions. A Joe Biden campaign staffer shrieked to the media that the Supreme Court “has just handed Donald Trump the keys to dictatorship.”

Of course, that is not true.

Other hysterics associated with the Biden campaign attacked the Supreme Court as “conflicted and compromised.” This overheated rhetoric is dangerous and a potential threat to civil order. Normal people should remain vigilant—such hyperbolic responses could encourage violent behavior among unstable political extremists.

Still, today, the rule of law won.

In the meantime, Trump’s presidential reelection campaign continues to gain political momentum. Trump campaign staffer Jason Miller (a Washington native) recently told a Seattle-based media outlet that “Washington state may now be in play” for Trump in 2024. Today’s Supreme Court decision adds to that momentum.