Monday, July 1, 2024

# 3 Trump v. U.S. - Dissenting Opinions - It's Over

Looking at the dissents:

Justice Sotomayor (joined by Justices Kagan and Jackson)

  1. Yes, Let's Look at the Facts - They include facts, something oddly omitted in the majority opinion. 
  2. The World Just Changed - "Today’s decision to grant former Presidents criminal immunity reshapes the institution of the Presidency. 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 about the need for 'bold and unhesitating action' by the President, . . . the Court gives former President Trump all the immunity he asked for and more. Because our Constitution does not shield a former President from answering for criminal and treasonous acts, I dissent." (citation omitted)
  3.   Majority Creates New Law - "The main takeaway of today’s decision is that all of a President’s official acts, defined without regard to motive or intent, are entitled to immunity that is 'at least . . . presumptive,' and quite possibly “absolute.” . . . Whenever the President wields the enormous power of his office, the majority says, the criminal law (at least presumptively) cannot touch him." (Citations Omitted)  
  4. Yes, the Majority Opinion is One-Sided - "The majority relies almost entirely on its view of the danger of intrusion on the Executive Branch, to the exclusion of the other side of the balancing test. Its analysis rests on a questionable conception of the President as incapable of navigating the difficult decisions his job requires while staying within the bounds of the law."
  5. Yes, the Majority Tries to Gut the Indictment -  "Today’s decision to grant former Presidents immunity for
    their official acts is deeply wrong. As troubling as this criminal immunity doctrine is in theory, the majority’s application of the doctrine to the indictment in this case is perhaps even more troubling. In the hands of the majority, this new official-acts immunity operates as a one-way ratchet."
  6. Worth Reading Their Warning - "The President of the United States is the most powerful person in the country, and possibly the world. When he uses his official powers in any way, under the majority’s reasoning, he now will be insulated from criminal prosecution. 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."
  7. A New Level of Judicial Discourse - And Needed Here - "Never in the history of our Republic has a President had reason to believe that he would be immune from criminal prosecution if he used the trappings of his office to violate the criminal law. Moving forward, however, all former Presidents will be cloaked in such immunity. If the occupant of that office misuses official power for personal gain, the criminal law that the rest of us must abide will not provide a backstop. With fear for our democracy, I dissent."

Justice Jackson - 

1. A New World - "JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR has thoroughly addressed the Court’s flawed reasoning and conclusion as a matter of history, tradition, law, and logic. I agree with every word of her powerful dissent. I write separately to explain, as succinctly as I can, the theoretical nuts and bolts of what, exactly, the majority has done today to alter the paradigm of accountability for Presidents of the United States. I also address what that paradigm shift means for our Nation moving forward. "

2. Presidential Power Like Never Before - "To the extent that the majority’s new accountability paradigm allows Presidents to evade punishment for their criminal acts while in office, the seeds of absolute power for Presidents have been planted."

3. New Non-Accocuntability Rules - "The majority of my colleagues seems to have put their trust in our Court’s ability to prevent Presidents from becoming Kings through case-by-case application of the indeterminate standards of their new Presidential accountability paradigm. I fear that they are wrong."

See # 1 - Trump v. U.S. - Majority - Kicks the Can Down the Road

See # 2- Trump v. U.S - Concurring Opinions

Sadly, (esp)

Judicial Opinions | Permalink


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