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Novel legal arguments will likely need Supreme Court decisions

I have not written a lot about former President Trump or his legal troubles. It’s a bit overwhelming, but I believe, like Vivek Ramaswamy said during a CNN interview on Aug. 8, 2023, that it’s all political to keep Trump off the ballot. I believe his opponents view him as so evil that the end justifies the means.

Ramaswamy said regarding the Trump indictments, “On principle, we should not be a country where the party in power uses police force to indict their political opponent in the midst of an election year. And if we are, it should not be based on novel untested legal theory, which it is in each of these three indictments against Trump.”

He also believes big tech drove the 2020 election based on the hard fact that polls prove that more than 10% of voters would have voted differently if they hadn’t had news censored regarding the Hunter Biden laptop and other stories.

In the New York Times, Ramaswamy denounced what he called the “politicized persecution through prosecution.”

Trump was just ordered to pay $354 million in a civil fraud case Friday. One that was brought against him by people who ran on a platform of “getting Trump.”

Several legal experts criticized the ruling, both Democrats and Republicans.“This verdict is a manifest injustice – plain and simple. It is the culmination of a multi-year, politically fueled witch hunt that was designed to ‘take down Donald Trump,’ before Letitia James ever stepped foot into the Attorney General’s office,” Trump attorney Alina Habba posted on X. “Countless hours of testimony proved that there was no wrongdoing, no crime, and no victim.”

Elon Musk responded, given that there are no victims, “Who is he (Donald Trump) supposed to pay?”

Former Attorney General Pam Bondi of Florida said on “Kudlow,” “This is unprecedented. New York has never brought a case like this ever in the history of New York that anyone can find, yet they go after Donald Trump when crime in New York is at an all-time high, Letitia James should be out there fighting crime, and instead she went after Donald Trump and his family.”

When you are using novel legal theory, it makes sense to me that they will have to rise to the level of the Supreme Court, especially when your defenses have been limited during your trial, which Trump’s were.

Another legal battle that Trump is fighting is, apparently, going to be heard by the Supreme Court, and it has to do with the principle of Presidential Immunity, as in Trump's Jan. 6 case.

I believe they are considering taking it up because it isn’t just about former President Donald Trump and the events of January 6, or about the actions of one individual but rather the sanctity of presidential immunity – a cornerstone principle designed to protect the executive branch's ability to operate free from judicial overreach.

Trump's appeal to the Supreme Court, which Chief Justice John Roberts has shown a willingness to review, brings to light an essential question: Should a president's actions, taken in the belief they are in the nation’s interest, be subject to legal challenge that could undermine the presidency's functioning?

Especially in a political climate where “lawfare” is used against your political opponents?

Special Counsel Jack Smith's opposition to Trump's claims might seem to advocate for accountability, but it also risks encroaching upon the independence of the executive branch.

The doctrine of presidential immunity, while not explicitly defined in the Constitution, has evolved through court decisions and Justice Department opinions to ensure that the president can perform duties without fear of constant legal jeopardy. This case offers the Supreme Court an opportunity to reaffirm the importance of this principle, ensuring that the president can lead effectively without undue interference.

The D.C. Circuit's rejection of Trump's immunity claim overlooks the potential chilling effect on future presidents, who may hesitate to act boldly in crises if their decisions could later be subjected to criminal prosecution.

The principle of presidential immunity serves as a safeguard, maintaining the separation of powers by preventing the judiciary from overstepping its bounds and intruding into the executive domain. The Supreme Court’s review of this case is not just about Trump but about preserving the executive branch's autonomy from judicial encroachment. This protection is vital for the president's ability to govern effectively, especially in matters of national significance.

Furthermore, the implications of narrowing presidential immunity extend beyond Trump, potentially altering the landscape for all future presidents. It could set a precedent that subjects presidential decisions to legal challenges, thereby weakening the presidency as an institution.

This case provides the Supreme Court with an opportunity to clarify the scope of presidential immunity, reinforcing the protections afforded to the highest office in the land against prosecutorial overreach.

A decision against Trump could inadvertently signal that presidential actions, even those taken with the nation's interest at heart, are vulnerable to legal challenges that could stifle presidential leadership and decision-making. The judiciary's role is not to hinder the executive branch but to ensure that the balance of powers is maintained, with each branch operating within its constitutional boundaries.

The decision is about safeguarding the presidency and ensuring that future occupants of the Oval Office can fulfill their duties with the assurance that their actions, taken in the national interest, will not leave them personally vulnerable to prosecution from political enemies after their term ends.

Many Americans polled believe that we now have a two-tiered justice system. The way President Biden’s handling of classified documents,versus, President Obama, versus President Trump, have all been treated differently by the Department of Justice just fuels the fire.

Trump’s legal defense bills are reported to be half a billion dollars so far, all against novel legal arguments that most, if not all, may not even hold up in court after it’s all said and done. The goal, I believe, was to break him, keep him tied up in court, and keep him from getting on the ballot. It doesn’t appear that will work.

But now, if a president is a successful businessman, he faces retribution and lawfare to be defeated by his opponents. I just don’t know if we can ever get to a place where good men will want to take the chance of losing everything they’ve worked hard for if the political climate is so corrupt. I wouldn’t have wished this on President Biden, or anyone, if it was for no reason other than to keep an opponent off the ballot.

 

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