Decision in Trump’s Immunity Claim Now in HeinOnline

2 MIN READ

(Feature Image: “Donald Trump,” by Gage Skidmore, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0)

Back in August 2023, a grand jury indicted former President Donald Trump on four charges for his conduct following the 2020 presidential election through the January 6 Capitol attack. In October 2023, Trump’s attorneys filed a motion in the federal prosecution case to dismiss the indictment, citing presidential immunity under Nixon v. Fitzgerald.[1]Nixon v. Fitzgerald, 457 U.S. 731, 799 (1982). This case can be found in HeinOnline’s U.S. Supreme Court Library. However, yesterday the three-judge panel including Judges J. Michelle Childs, Florence Pan, and Karen LeCraft Henderson dismissed Trump’s argument that he cannot be prosecuted because the allegations against him are tied to his official duties as president, denying him the ability to avoid a trial. Read the judges’ opinions in HeinOnline or keep reading to see what they said.

What Was Said?

The three judges openly expressed strong criticism of Trump’s actions, sparing no words in sharing their opinions on the matter. They asserted that Trump’s reliance on the Double Jeopardy Clause[2]2022 Edition Annotating Interpretations to Various Articles of the Constitution 1697 (2023)
Fifth Amendment: Rights of Persons. This document can be found in HeinOnline’s World Constitutions Illustrated database.
is unfounded,[3]United States of America v. Donald J Trump, No. 23-3228 (2024). This document can be found in HeinOnline’s U.S. Presidential Library as impeachment is not a criminal proceeding and does not lead to criminal punishment.

snapshot of the U.S. Constitution showing the overview of the Double Jeopardy Clause

It was also made clear that Trump could be prosecuted in a court of law. To further their argument, they referenced the public’s interest in holding a former president accountable for potential criminal actions. And finally, they argued Trump’s stance on immunity would put the “President beyond the reach of all three branches,”[4]United States of America v. Donald J Trump, No. 23-3228 (2024). This document can be found in HeinOnline’s U.S. Presidential Library removing checks and balances and creating an “unprecedented assault on the structure of our government.[5]United States of America v. Donald J Trump, No. 23-3228 (2024). This document can be found in HeinOnline’s U.S. Presidential Library

Former President Trump’s alleged efforts to remain in power despite losing the 2020 election were, if proven, an unprecedented assault on the structure of our government. He allegedly injected himself into a process in which the President has no role the counting and certifying of the Electoral College votes thereby undermining constitutionally established procedures and the will of the Congress.
u003cstrongu003eu003cemu003eu003ca href=u0022https://heinonline.org/HOL/P?h=hein.presidents/udstoaav0001u0026amp;i=39u0022 target=u0022_blanku0022 rel=u0022noreferrer noopeneru0022u003eUnited States of America v. Donald J. Trumpu003c/au003eu003c/emu003eu003c/strongu003e

What’s Next?

Trump, the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination in the 2024 election, is planning to appeal the recent U.S. appeals court decision announced yesterday. It is unknown if he will ask the entire D.C. Circuit Court to review the ruling or go directly to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Trump’s lawyers argue that former presidents have sweeping legal protections and cannot face criminal charges for official actions unless they’re impeached by the House and removed by the Senate. Even though the House impeached Trump twice, the Senate acquitted him both times.

Stay in the Know

Not only does HeinOnline have timely resources ready at the click of a button, but we’re preparing you for all that is still coming. Tomorrow, February 8, 2024, the U.S. Supreme Court is hearing the case Trump v. Anderson to decide whether or not states can exclude Trump from their primary ballots due to the Disqualification Clause.[6]2022 Edition Annotating Interpretations to Various Articles of the Constitution 2312 (2023) Section 3: Disqualification from Holding Office. This document can be found in HeinOnline’s World Constitutions Illustrated database. Did you know we recently released a special Preview of the United States Supreme Court Cases issue so you can catch up on the latest details? Get expert analysis on this case with HeinOnline!

HeinOnline Sources

HeinOnline Sources
1 Nixon v. Fitzgerald, 457 U.S. 731, 799 (1982). This case can be found in HeinOnline’s U.S. Supreme Court Library.
2 2022 Edition Annotating Interpretations to Various Articles of the Constitution 1697 (2023)
Fifth Amendment: Rights of Persons. This document can be found in HeinOnline’s World Constitutions Illustrated database.
3, 4, 5 United States of America v. Donald J Trump, No. 23-3228 (2024). This document can be found in HeinOnline’s U.S. Presidential Library
6 2022 Edition Annotating Interpretations to Various Articles of the Constitution 2312 (2023) Section 3: Disqualification from Holding Office. This document can be found in HeinOnline’s World Constitutions Illustrated database.
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