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US Supreme Court to rule on Trump’s criminal immunity claim in 2020 election challenge

Courtesy: Geo News/Reuters

Supreme Court has scheduled oral arguments for April 22

In a pivotal development, the US Supreme Court has agreed to adjudicate Donald Trump’s assertion of immunity from prosecution in connection with his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, Reuters reported.

This decision provides Trump with a strategic advantage as he seeks to defer criminal proceedings while actively pursuing a return to the presidency.

The justices have temporarily halted the criminal case initiated by Special Counsel Jack Smith, opting to review a lower court’s dismissal of Trump’s claim of immunity due to his status as president when he took actions to contest President Joe Biden’s electoral victory.

The Supreme Court has scheduled oral arguments for the week of April 22, focusing on the central question of whether a former president enjoys immunity from criminal prosecution for actions taken during their tenure.

As the leading contender for the Republican nomination in the upcoming November 5 US election, Trump’s case injects the Supreme Court, dominated by a 6-3 conservative majority with three Trump-appointed justices, into the electoral landscape once again.

Apart from this case, the Supreme Court is poised to rule on overturning a decision preventing Trump’s inclusion in Colorado’s Republican primary ballot based on insurrection-related constitutional provisions.

The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit had unanimously rejected Trump’s immunity claim, emphasising the importance of checks on executive power.

Special Counsel Jack Smith, appointed by US Attorney General Merrick Garland in November 2022, filed federal criminal charges against Trump in August 2023 related to election subversion. The trial, originally set for March 4, was postponed as Trump pressed his immunity claim, with no new date announced.

Trump faces additional criminal cases, with a trial in New York concerning hush money scheduled for March 25. Trump, who pleads not guilty in all cases, alleges political motivation behind the charges.

In response to the Supreme Court’s decision, Trump underscored the significance of presidential immunity, asserting that without it, presidents may be paralyzed by the fear of post-office prosecution, potentially leading to extortion and blackmail.

The Supreme Court’s forthcoming rulings carry substantial implications for Trump’s legal battles and could impact the intersection of presidential powers and legal accountability.

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