Authoritarian Rule: MAGA Justices aid Trump in avoiding prosecution for January 6th attempted coup

Authoritarian Rule: MAGA Justices aid Trump in avoiding prosecution for January 6th attempted coup

Should a president be allowed to do anything they want with no consequences? 

That was the core of Donald Trump’s claim of king-like immunity in response to prosecution for the January 6th attempted coup. 

If you’re wondering just how bananas the conversation got, Trump’s lawyers even argued he would not be subject to the rule of law if he were to assassinate a political rival

Today’s ruling by MAGA Justices on the Supreme Court offers a former president absolute immunity for official acts, like giving a direct order to the military, attorney general, or vice president.  

This devastating decision sets a precedent and places Trump above the law. As Justice Sonia Sotomayer noted in her dissent:

“Let the President violate the law, let him exploit the trappings of his office for personal gain, let him use his official power for evil ends. Because if he knew that he may one day face liability for breaking the law, he might not be as bold and fearless as we would like him to be. That is the majority’s message today. Even if these nightmare scenarios never play out, and I pray they never do, the damage has been done. The relationship between the President and the people he serves has shifted irrevocably. In every use of official power, the President is now a king above the law.”   

“Orders the Navy’s Seal Team 6 to assassinate a political rival? Immune. Organizes a military coup to hold onto power? Immune. Takes a bribe in exchange for a pardon? Immune. Immune, immune, immune.” 

– Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor

By delaying the decision until the last possible moment and sending it back to lower courts to define Trump’s official vs. private conduct leading up to the January 6th insurrection, the court also virtually ensured his trial on four election subversion-related charges will not take place before the November election. 

Additionally, this ruling is in contrast to cases that benefit Republicans, where SCOTUS appears to have issued fast rulings, while then intentionally moving slowly on ones that don’t.

This devastating decision takes place against a backdrop of deepening concern about MAGA Justices on the Supreme Court, including Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas taking all expenses paid luxury vacations with billionaires and Alito leaking the overturning of Roe v. Wade to conservative activists before the court released the decision.   

The gravity of this decision cannot be understated and the implications for both Trump’s accountability and that of future presidents is terrifying.

Let’s be clear: In America, we elect presidents, we do not appoint kings. We can and must demand justice. Come November we, the American people, will act as the ultimate jury as voters.

No one is above the law, whether a citizen, candidate, or president and we must ensure that a man who thinks he is above the law, does not, in fact, become the most powerful person in America.

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