SCOTUS Agrees to Hear Trump Immunity Case

Court will hear arguments in late April
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 28, 2024 4:36 PM CST
SCOTUS Agrees to Hear Trump Immunity Case
The Supreme Court agreed on Feb. 28, 2024, to decide whether Donald Trump can be prosecuted on charges he interfered with the 2020 election.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

The Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to decide whether Donald Trump can be prosecuted on charges he interfered with the 2020 election and set a course for a quick resolution. The justices' order maintains a hold on preparations for a trial focused on Trump's efforts to overturn his election loss, the AP reports. The court will hear arguments in the week of April 22, the Washington Post reports. A decision is likely no later than the end of June. The court said in an unsigned statement that it will consider "whether and if so to what extent does a former President enjoy presidential immunity from criminal prosecution for conduct alleged to involve official acts during his tenure in office."

The Supreme Court has previously held that presidents are immune from civil liability for official acts, and Trump's lawyers have for months argued that that protection should be extended to criminal prosecution as well. Lower courts have so far rejected Trump's novel claim that former presidents enjoy absolute immunity for actions that fall within their official job duties. A panel of appellate judges in Washington ruled earlier this month that US District Judge Tanya Chutkan, who would preside over the election interference trial, was right to say that the case could proceed and that Trump can be prosecuted for actions undertaken while in the White House and in the run-up to Jan. 6, 2021, when a mob of his supporters stormed the US Capitol.

The case is separate from the high court's consideration of Trump's appeal to remain on the presidential ballot despite attempts to kick him off because of his efforts following his election loss in 2020. During arguments on Feb. 8, the justices sounded likely to side with Trump. A decision in that case could come any time.

(More Donald Trump stories.)

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