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Supreme Court takes up review of Trump’s immunity claim

Jack Smith wanted the justices to reject the former president’s delay gambit in the federal election interference case in Washington.


The Supreme Court has decided to review Donald Trump’s far-fetched immunity claim, a move that will at least further delay the former president’s federal election interference case from going to trial. 

The justices will hear oral arguments the week of April 22. The high court will review the following question, per the court’s order Wednesday granting review:

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 U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit rejected Trump’s claim. But instead of simply letting that thorough, unanimous ruling stand, the justices want to get involved. It would be shocking if the high court — even this court — reversed the D.C. Circuit, but further delay will likely result from the justices’ decision to put their stamp on the matter.

The case has been on hold since Trump launched a pretrial immunity appeal. He asked the Supreme Court to keep the case from going back to U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan for trial while he continues to appeal the D.C. Circuit ruling. Trump, of course, wants to push back the case for as long as possible in the hopes of winning the presidential election and making the prosecution go away.

The case will remain on hold pending the justices’ decision, which will come after the hearing in April. The court typically issues its final decisions of the term by July.

Special counsel Jack Smith objected to the delay effort and told the justices that if they’re inclined to take up Trump’s case, they should do so on an expedited basis.

Trump’s brief is due March 19, while Smith’s response is due April 8. Any Trump reply brief is due April 15.

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