Supreme Court trashed by Republican judge: "Abominable" (2024)

A retired conservative federal judge has slammed the Supreme Court for its decision to grant Donald Trump, along with any other U.S. president, immunity for certain acts.

Last week saw a 6-3 majority ruling that Trump has immunity for acts that fell "within his conclusive and preclusive constitutional authority" and is entitled to presumptive immunity for all official acts. It does not offer immunity for unofficial or private acts.

Judge J. Michael Luttig, a long-standing Trump critic, called the ruling an "abominable decision" while speaking on an episode of MeidasTouch's "Legal AF" show.

Luttig said: "The Supreme Court's decision in Donald Trump v. the United States represents the un-souling of America. America's democracy and the rule of the law are the heart and soul of America—it is our democracy and the rule of law that has made America the envy of the world and the beacon of freedom to the world for almost 250 years.

"The Supreme Court cut the heart and soul out of America with this abominable decision, of constitutional interpretation or, should I say, so-called constitutional interpretation."

Luttig: The Supreme Court cut the heart and soul out of America with this abominable decision… The defining maxim of America has been that no one is above the law. That can never be said about America again after this decision from the Supreme Court. Without any question…

— Acyn (@Acyn) July 7, 2024

He continued: "The defining maxim, if you will, of Americans, since its founding, has been that in America, no man is above the law.

"That can never be said about America again, after Monday's decision by the Supreme Court."

Luttig, who was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit by former President George W. Bush, is one of many voices to criticize the landmark ruling.

John Brennan, who served as CIA director under former President Barack Obama, called the decision "breathtaking" and said it has "dangerous implications for our nation's future."

He wrote in an opinion column for MSNBC: "By rewriting the rule that has governed presidential authority for the past 235 years—that no one, not even a president, is above the law—the court has given a green light to any future president inclined to wield his or her executive authority irrespective of the laws that apply to all other citizens and residents of the U.S. King George III would be pleased."

Supreme Court trashed by Republican judge: "Abominable" (1)

Chief Justice John Roberts has not responded to the media controversy, but he addressed similar concerns in Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor's dissent, which said that "in every use of official power, the president is now a king above the law."

Justice Roberts said this was written in a "tone of chilling doom that is wholly disproportionate to what the Court actually does today."

Conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett joined her liberal colleagues in dissenting, focusing mainly on the rules about evidence allowed to be presented to the jury.

Former acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker, who served under Trump from November 2018 to February 2019, has hit back at the criticism, saying the ruling "did not exonerate President Trump or any future presidents from their acts."

He said: "All it does is essentially create a process pretrial, before the jury hears it, to decide the three buckets. Whether something is a core function official act, whether something is broadly an official act and given presumptive immunity, or ... whether it's a private, unofficial act with no immunity," he said.

He praised the Supreme Court for being "careful in not prejudging" the specific allegations of the case and allowing Judge Chutkan, the D.C. judge overseeing Trump's case, to decide.

The ruling says: "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. As for his remaining official actions, he is also entitled to immunity."

Newsweek has contacted the Supreme Court's Public Information Office, via its email address, for and response to the current criticism.

Trump, whose lawyers argued presidents should have broad immunity for acts committed while in office, is currently facing four charges in the federal 2020 election case—conspiracy to defraud the United States; conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding; obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding; and conspiracy against rights, namely "the right to vote, and to have one's vote counted."

The former president has consistently denied these allegations, insisting he did not engage in any illegal activities.

Newsweek has contacted Trump's team, via its press email address, for comment on the Supreme Court ruling and the election case.

Uncommon Knowledge

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

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Supreme Court trashed by Republican judge: "Abominable" (2024)
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