Supreme Court says Trump, other former presidents immune from criminal prosecution for official acts – but NOT unofficial acts

Supreme Court says Trump, other former presidents immune from criminal prosecution for official acts – but NOT unofficial acts

In a 6-3 vote that is rocking America, the Supreme Court decided that all former presidents, including Donald Trump, are immune from criminal prosecution for all conduct involving official acts while in office – though they are not immune from unofficial acts, SCOTUS also clarified.

Though the decision technically sends the matter back down to the lower court, it “all but insures” that an actual trial will not take place against Trump over the classified documents issue before the November election.

As you might expect, the 6-3 vote occurred along ideological lines. The six conservatives agreed that a federal appeals court was too categorical in rejecting Trump’s immunity arguments, ruling for the first time ever that former presidents need not worry about being prosecuted for “some” official acts they committed while in office.

The lower courts will now have to decide per the SCOTUS ruling the parameters and extent of the allegations that are now off limits for prosecution.

“Just as former presidents have immunity from civil liability for official acts, they have immunity from criminal prosecution unless they are impeached and removed from office for the crime alleged,” tweeted X user “Martin Harry.”

“This decision is supported by the writings of the framers of the Constitution, the text of the Constitution and Supreme Court precedent.”

(Related: Panicked Democrats are now calling for Trump to be pardoned – they recognize how bad this all looks and what it means for their impending election loss.)

So, what constitutes “official acts?”

Constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley indicated that the next issue at hand is determining what constitutes “official acts” in the context of the ruling. He added that the ruling will “further delay the lower court proceedings, but Trump will have to argue that his actions fall within these navigational beacons.”

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“The lower court judge has been highly favorable for (Special Counsel) Jack Smith in the past,” Turley continued. “Yet the court is arguing that there is a presumption of immunity for their official acts beyond the absolute immunity on core constitutional powers.”

X user “Sean Davis” (@seanmdav) brought to light a key paragraph in the ruling:

“… the separation of powers principles explicated in the Court’s precedent necessitate at least a presumptive immunity from criminal prosecution for a President’s acts within the outer perimeter of his official responsibility. Such an immunity is required to safeguard the independence and effective functioning of the Executive Branch, and to enable the President to carry out his constitutional duties without undue caution. At a minimum, the President must be immune from prosecution for an official act unless the Government can show that applying a criminal prohibition to that act would pose no ‘dangers of intrusion on the authority and functions of the Executive Branch.'”

It should also be noted that Justice Clarence Thomas is not even sure that Special Counsel Smith’s office is legal in a constitutional sense. He said:

“If there is no law establishing the office that the Special Counsel occupies, then he cannot proceed with this prosecution. A private citizen cannot criminally prosecute anyone, let alone a former President.”

Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote a blistering dissent to the ruling claiming that it “makes a mockery of the principle, foundational to our Constitution and system of government, that no man is above the law.”

“Relying on little more than its own misguided wisdom … the court gives former President Trump all the immunity he asked for and more,” she continued.

The ruling is sure to rile up both sides of the political aisle as we approach the 2024 election. Will American civility even last until November 5?

The latest news about Trump’s re-run for president this fall can be found at

Sources for this article include:

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