Case study Trump & the Supreme Court

Trump appointed three justices, creating a rock-solid conservative majority . Is Trump now reaping the reward?

So far the evidence is mixed.

''Why would anybody be surprised that the Supreme Court has ruled against me, they always do!" he wrote in a Truth Social post. 

Given the unwillingness of the court to become involved in Trump's post-White House cases, the Supreme Court's decision to hear Trump's claim to absolute presidential immunity- was a surprise.

Is the conservative supermajority of the Supreme Court trying its best to help Trump?

Yes: The decision to hear the case and delay his criminal trial in Washington DC was unquestionably one of Trump’s biggest legal victories to date. The delay is of the court’s own making. Jack Smith, the special counsel prosecutor handling the election interference case, first came to the Supreme Court in December and asked the justices to quickly take up the issue so that the trial would not be delayed. The court declined to do so. 

There is absolutely no constitutional text, no precedent and no authority in the original debates over the Constitution’s ratification to support the idea of a former president’s absolute immunity. The argument advanced by Trump’s counsel is patently absurd. The idea that senators could impeach a president who threatened them with deadly violence and so no criminal justice process is needed, is facetious. The District of Columbia Court of Appeals rightly ridiculed it — and issued a comprehensive, tightly reasoned and unanimous opinion that presented no good cause for further review. 

No:  The immunity and the eligibility issues are significant and untested legal questions that might merit the Supreme Court's intervention, unlike some of Trump's earlier requests. Steve Vladeck, a law professor at the University of Texas, speculated rather than outright support for Trump that the delay might reflect some division on the court and that the justices had reached a compromise. 

The Supreme Court's decision to hear former President Donald Trump's presidential immunity claim in his 2020 election interference case will reap an unprecedented ruling. CBS News legal contributor Jessica Levinson breaks down the cases' impact. 

The Supreme Court will decide if ex-President Donald Trump is immune from being prosecuted on charges of trying to overturn the 2020 election.

The 6-3 conservative majority court said it will hear arguments in April. A ruling could come by the end of June.

A US Court of Appeals panel has already rejected Mr Trump's argument.

He had claimed in the landmark legal case that he was immune from all criminal charges for acts that he said fell within his duties as president.

The Supreme Court taking the case is being seen as a victory for the former president as it increases the chances that his trial may not happen before November's presidential election.

On his Truth Social site, Mr Trump welcomed Wednesday's decision and contended that without immunity presidents could be "paralyzed, by the prospect of wrongful prosecution and retaliation after they leave office".

Donald Trump was charged last year with witness tampering and conspiracy to defraud the US over his attempts to overturn his 2020 election loss to Joe Biden.

Jack Smith, who was appointed as special counsel in the investigation, brought the charges against Mr Trump, and pushed for the trial to be held this year.

When Mr Trump claimed immunity, Mr Smith asked the Supreme Court to take up that question but in January they declined and it fell to the federal appeals court in Washington.

The appeals court rejected his immunity arguments earlier this month, ruling unanimously against the 77-year-old.

"We cannot accept former President Trump's claim that a president has unbounded authority to commit crimes that would neutralise the most fundamental check on executive power - the recognition and implementation of election results," it wrote.

Either the former president’s trial on charges of attempting to subvert the 2020 election, a trial that was supposed to start next week, will now not take place until after the 2024 election, or it will be held in the final months before Election Day.