Home Politics How Could the Supreme Court’s Ruling of Donald Trump’s Immunity Affect the 2024 Election?

How Could the Supreme Court’s Ruling of Donald Trump’s Immunity Affect the 2024 Election?

by Scott Kacsmar
0 comment
Donald Trumps Immunity

Should any one person be above the law in the United States of America? Former president Donald Trump believes so, and his presidential immunity case is being argued for the U.S. Supreme Court in what could be a landmark ruling.

Oral arguments began in front of the Supreme Court on April 25, 2024. Justice Neil Gorsuch has described the case as “writing a rule for the ages.” While past presidents have received special immunity from many civil cases, Trump v. United States is a unique case in that no other former U.S. president has ever faced criminal charges the way Trump is currently facing with 4 separate cases.

If the Supreme Court rules in Trump’s favor for immunity, charges in 2-of-4 cases could go away for the cases involving Trump’s role on January 6 and for the illegal documents case in Florida.

Let’s look at how this Trump immunity case is going and how it can affect the 2024 presidential election before heading to the political betting sites.

Trump’s Argument

Trump’s argument is he should have absolute immunity for official actions taken during his presidency, including his alleged interference in the 2020 election and what happened on January 6, 2021.

The Trump team is trying to draw lines between “official acts” and “private acts” for a president. The Court seemed to agree that private acts should be prosecutable, but official acts are a mixed bag.

In Trump’s view, addressing the crowd on January 6th prior to the riot at the Capitol building could be an official action of his presidency, and therefore he should be immune from any prosecution for it.

The SEAL Team Assassination Example

This was not the first time this case has been heard for Trump as he’s already lost it at two lower courts in recent months.

On January 9, 2024, there was a hearing for Trump’s 2020 election obstruction case. Trump’s attorney D. John Sauer argued at the DC Circuit Court of Appeals that Trump should enjoy presidential immunity for any crimes he committed during his presidency. The most jaw-dropping example in the arguments came when Judge Florence Pan asked Sauer if immunity still covers a sitting president who orders SEAL Team Six to assassinate a political rival.

For instance, if President Joe Biden ordered the assassination of Donald Trump, his political rival, would that be protected by presidential immunity if it was an official act? Therefore, Biden would never be able to face prosecution for that crime.

This topic was brought up again in oral arguments by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who gave Sauer another chance to answer this peculiar question. Sauer has struggled with this line of questioning because he believes such an order could be an official action of the president, therefore it would be a “qualified yes” as he says for immunity to apply.

However, Sauer is of the belief that if a president did something like order the assassination of a rival, he would be impeached and convicted by Congress, then he could be prosecuted for the crime. But these are just assumptions by Sauer.

When Sauer first gave a “qualified yes” to this immunity for assassination hypothetical, special counsel attorney James Pearce, arguing for the government, had this reply: “I mean, what kind of world are we living in?” Pearce argued. “If, as I understood my friend on the other side to say here, a president orders SEAL team to assassinate a political rival and resigned, for example before an impeachment, it’s not a criminal act … I think that is extraordinarily frightening future.”

The 3-judge panel that day ruled against Trump, stating they could not accept his contention that a president has “unbounded authority to commit crimes.” They warned such a stan would “collapse our system of separated powers.” That’s why Trump appealed that ruling to the Supreme Court, and so far, it looks like we are hearing some of the same arguments on his behalf.

Other Presidents Have Lost Immunity Claims

Trump is not the first president to seek an immunity claim. Richard Nixon did so in his 1974 case brought in front of the Supreme Court in which he lost his argument that he should be immune from turning over evidence related to the Watergate scandal.

After Nixon lost his appeal, he turned in evidence (tapes and papers) and resigned 16 days later. New president Gerald Ford pardoned Nixon, and the assumption there was that it was done to avoid prosecuting a former president with a criminal trial for his actions in office.

Bill Clinton also failed to enact absolute presidential immunity when Paula Jones sued him for sexual harassment when he was the Governor of Arkansas. As president, Clinton thought he could dismiss the case with immunity, but that was not the ruling. The Supreme Court agreed that presidential immunity should not extend to matters that took place prior to one’s time in office.

This is also not a new concept for Trump. During his impeachment for January 6th, his legal team argued he should be acquitted and that courts are the right place to make these charges, not Congress. “We have a judicial process in this country,” lawyer David Schoen argued. “We have an investigative process in this country to which no former officeholder is immune.”

Now Trump’s team is arguing the opposite in this case that he should be immune from everything.

What Happens if Trump Wins the Immunity Case?

Let’s not forget that the current Supreme Court has a 6-3 supermajority in favor of Republicans. If Trump is granted full immunity from the Supreme Court, then you can likely forget about the 2020 election interference case ever reaching a verdict. It will be dismissed as will the illegal documents case in Florida for how Trump handled classified documents.

However, winning this case does not seem to be the main goal for Trump. He would perhaps benefit more from seeing it get delayed past a June ruling, see it get pushed back to a lower court to allow more time to run off, and all of this is great for Trump as long as it pushes everything past the November election.

He is obviously easier to vote for if he hasn’t been convicted of any crimes. If Trump wins the election in November, he could have these trials all dismissed and possibly even pardon himself. That would be his ultimate goal this year.

With the way the Court moves at a glacial pace, experts warn it is very unlikely this immunity case will be tried before the election. If Trump wins the election, good luck getting a trial at all. However, if a ruling ever does come down from the Supreme Court on presidential immunity from crimes, something unprecedented before Trump, then that would likely apply to all future presidents.

But as for Trump? He’ll escape accountability for his actions on January 6. If the Supreme Court does not rule that presidents don’t deserve immunity for crimes, then that likely won’t stop Trump or someone else from doing another January 6 in the future after losing the election.

This is a big case, but the timing is far from ideal.

author avatar
Scott Kacsmar
NFL football picks are Scott Kacsmar's expertise, serving as his main focus. He has contributed to various sports websites and blogs, such as NBC Sports, ESPN Insider, FiveThirtyEight, and, JoeWager. Originating from Pittsburgh, Scott maintains a love-hate connection with the Pirates.

You may also like

JoeWager is your leading source for trending topics relevant to offshore gamblers, including betting resources, sports & casino guides, entertainment topics, politics and more.

Editors' Picks

Latest Articles

Copyright 2023 – All Right Reserved.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More