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Supreme Court Grants Trump Immunity from Federal Prosecution for Official Actions

July 1, 2024




In a landmark decision on Monday, the Supreme Court ruled that former President Donald Trump is entitled to a degree of immunity from federal prosecution for actions he took while in office. The 6-3 decision, delivered at a pivotal moment in the election season, may further delay the start of Trump’s criminal trial in Washington, D.C.

This ruling overturns a decision by the federal appeals court in Washington, which had determined that Trump was not entitled to broad immunity from criminal charges related to an alleged scheme to retain power following the 2020 election. The Supreme Court’s decision marks a significant expansion of presidential power, extending immunity to criminal prosecutions of former presidents for their official conduct.

This is the first time the Supreme Court has addressed whether a former president could face criminal charges for actions taken during their tenure in the Oval Office, with Trump being the first to encounter such a situation.



Trump has pleaded not guilty to four charges linked to the alleged effort to subvert the transfer of presidential power after the 2020 election.

Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the majority, stated, “We conclude that under our constitutional structure of separated powers, the nature of Presidential power requires that a former President have some immunity from criminal prosecution for official acts during his tenure in office. At least with respect to the President’s exercise of his core constitutional powers, this immunity must be absolute.”

Roberts added, “As for his remaining official actions, he is also entitled to immunity. At the current stage of proceedings in this case, however, we need not and do not decide whether that immunity must be absolute, or instead whether a presumptive immunity is sufficient.”



This ruling could have far-reaching implications for the accountability of former presidents and the scope of presidential immunity, setting a precedent for how future cases involving former presidents might be handled.


Credit: CBS News

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