The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday denied the request from the Trump Administration for a fast ruling on whether or not to provide President Donald Trump immunity from structural criminal proceedings.
The Trump administration asked the top court to speed up a ruling while the president’s lawyers argued that Mr. Trump has to be shielded from being subjected to such prosecution even though he has left the White House.
In a unanimous decision, the court ruled that the case should go through the normal appeals process. This is a thorny issue as the Constitution affords the president immunity from many investigations and charges while in office but it’s not clear if this extends to charges that will be tackled when Mr. Trump is no longer the leader of the nation.
This means that the court ruling won’t be handed down in the near future as the double jeopardy clause of the 5th Amendment that’s being used to protect Mr. Trump is not easy to conditionally dismiss considering its wide-reaching impact.
The Supreme Court brief motion specified that the Trump lawyers wanted to appeal the decision of lower courts who have already denied the claim and allow Trump to invoke the double jeopardy clause.
The Department of Justice already declared that the president is immune from any criminal charges regardless if he has official immunity from criminal investigations while in office.
President Trump’s immunity claim isn’t just a legal conundrum but rather a political issue that is being seen as a test for the tenure and rigors of the justice system. It has highlighted the long-running legal debates surrounding the separation of powers and executive branch privileges as many in the public hold onto the suspicion that President Trump is trying to evade prosecution.
It also puts the Supreme Court at a crossroads as public pressure is intense and the decision made would be met with multiple reactions. If the Supreme Court rules that the president has immunity, it could affect future immunity cases, even after President Trump leaves office and sets a president for future leaders.