Written by Ashton Snyder on
 July 1, 2024

Supreme Court Delay Could Stall Trump Trial

The U.S. Supreme Court is facing criticism for its slow response to Donald Trump's claim of criminal immunity concerning his actions to overturn the 2020 election results.

According to USA Today, this delay means that a potential trial is now unlikely to occur before the November 5 election.

The Supreme Court, which currently has a conservative majority including three justices appointed by Trump, is set to make a decision on Monday regarding Trump's claim for criminal immunity.

Special Counsel Jack Smith secured a four-count federal indictment against Trump last August. Initially set for March 4, the trial has been postponed indefinitely with no new date scheduled.

Court's Delayed Timeline Raises Concerns

The court's decision, expected 20 weeks after Trump's request, contrasts sharply with the expedited resolution of a separate Colorado case involving Trump. Georgetown University law professor Erica Hashimoto noted, "I don't think that there is any way the case goes to trial before the election."

Trump, the Republican candidate for the upcoming election opposing President Joe Biden, has already been convicted in New York for hush money payments linked to the 2016 election. The justices are anticipated to favor some form of criminal immunity for ex-presidents, which could mean additional delays.

George Washington University law professor Randall Eliason expressed his concerns: "The amount of delay that has resulted has made it almost impossible to get the case to trial before the election."

Legal Experts Weigh In On Potential Delays

The Special Counsel's December request for a fast-track review, after U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan dismissed Trump's immunity claim, was denied by the Supreme Court. University of Michigan law professor Leah Litman remarked, "The court's delay in deciding the immunity case has already given Donald Trump a huge win - the delay he sought to push his trial on election interference - and any verdict in the trial - until after the election."

Should the justices uphold the lower court's decision against Trump's immunity claim, the trial court must still resolve various legal issues. This would likely push the trial date even closer to the election.

Trump's claim is also seen by some as politically charged. He pleaded not guilty, alleging that the case is driven by political motives. The nine-month period since his first motion to dismiss the charges on immunity grounds reflects the complex nature of this high-profile legal battle.

Implications For The Upcoming Election

Litman further noted that the extended timeline has already favored Trump by significantly delaying proceedings. Once trial proceedings resume, Judge Chutkan's court would need to provide Trump with at least three months' preparation time, further complicating the timeline.

Hashimoto added, "Even if the Supreme Court were to affirm the lower courts and say that Trump does not have immunity, the trial court still has to decide a bunch of other legal issues." Given the likely timeline, any trial could start as late as October, raising concerns about potential claims of election interference.

Conclusion

The Supreme Court's slow decision-making process regarding Donald Trump's criminal immunity claim has profound implications. The Special Counsel's indictment, the legal complexities, and the potential delays all contribute to an uncertain electoral landscape. Trump, the Republican candidate, finds himself at the center of an unprecedented legal and political storm, with the court's ruling poised to play a decisive role in the unfolding drama.

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About Ashton Snyder

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