Supremes Rule for Trump — Sort Of

It’s been a momentous past week for the Supreme Court. It’s released several important decisions that will have a significant impact on American politics. This morning, the Supreme Court issued another major ruling.

In a 6-3 decision, the court ruled that presidents do have immunity for official acts that they performed in office. The court ruled that presidents don’t have unlimited immunity — they’re not immune from prosecution if they murder someone while in office, for example.

The president can’t order the Navy SEALs to assassinate a political rival, as some seem to think this ruling allows. That’s nonsense.

But the majority ruled that presidents are immune from prosecution relating to actions pertaining to the office of president.

And the decision could jeopardize many of the cases against Trump because they pertain to actions Trump undertook as president.

The History of Presidential Immunity

The issue of presidential immunity traces back to the earliest days of the Republic, when Chief Justice John Marshall concluded that Thomas Jefferson could be forced to hand over documents related to the treason case against Aaron Burr (who you might remember as the man who killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel).

Writing for the majority in this case, Chief Justice John Roberts argued that presidential immunity “extends to the ‘outer perimeter’ of the president’s official responsibilities, covering actions so long as they are ‘not manifestly or palpably beyond [his] authority… There is no immunity… for a president’s unofficial acts.”

I predicted the court would reach this decision. The court’s three liberal justices — Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor and Ketanji Brown Jackson were the predictable dissenters.

I believe the decision should have been 9-0. A president needs to be immune from official actions he undertook while in office. Otherwise, fear of being prosecuted could impact the sometimes difficult but necessary decisions a president has to make.

Fear Shouldn’t Dictate Policy

Those decisions may be right or they may be wrong. But a president needs to make those decisions based solely on what he believes is for the good of the country. He can’t be afraid of being prosecuted for these decisions once he leaves office. That just opens a can of worms. It criminalizes policy.

President Obama ordered drone strikes on American citizens living overseas who were tied to terrorism. Technically, as American citizens, that violated their due process rights. But it’s not like Obama ordered drone strikes on normal Americans walking down Main Street. They were terror suspects living overseas.

The assumption must be that Obama was acting in what he perceived to be the best interests of the United States. You may agree or disagree with that decision. But what if Obama decided against the strikes based on fear of future prosecution and these people went on to commit acts of terrorism that killed innocent Americans?

As you can see, it’s complicated. Where would it end? Of course, any prosecution would be strictly political. A Democratic administration would never pursue charges against a former Democratic president, just like no Republican administration would pursue charges against a former Republican president.

It also raises questions about the separation of powers. The executive, legislative and judicial branches were designed to be equal branches of government. Prosecution of official presidential acts would subordinate the executive branch, challenging the separation of powers doctrine.

Now I want to switch gears to discuss another momentous decision the Supreme Court handed down last week.

Specifically, I want to concentrate on one decision that will impact all of my readers, especially in the run-up to the November presidential election. The case in question is Murthy v. Missouri.

Supremes Bless Government Censorship

It was a landmark case in the area of free speech and the First Amendment. The Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in favor of the Biden administration that government can put pressure on social media companies such as Facebook, Google and Twitter to censor news the government does not like and to promote official government lies.

At various times during the COVID pandemic (2020–2022) and ahead of the midterm elections in 2022, the White House and their flunkies put pressure on the social media companies to deplatform or downgrade voices that questioned the so-called vaccines, opposed the use of masks and social distancing, objected to lockdowns and school closures or gave credence to the Hunter Biden laptop story and Biden crime family corruption.

These efforts at censorship weren’t hard to do. The social media companies were heavily staffed by former members of the FBI, CIA and White House staff who were in sync with Biden administration propaganda.

When the White House called Facebook or Twitter, they were usually speaking with old friends who had previously worked at censorship from inside the administration.

The irony was that the parties being censored were right. The vaccines did not stop infection or the spread of the disease. Masks were useless. Lockdowns destroyed the economy but did nothing to stop the spread of the virus.

An entire generation of American children were deprived of two years of crucial formative education so that cowardly teachers’ unions could get paid to stay home. The Hunter Biden laptop was real, and it did reveal massive corruption by the Bidens.

Enabling Big Brother

Still, the censorship of credible voices went ahead, and the Supreme Court just gave it a green light to continue.

The only ray of hope is that the Supreme Court rejected the complaint in this case on procedural grounds (lack of standing to sue and an overly broad complaint). The court never reached the substance of the censorship.

This means future cases alleging government censorship may have more success. But that result may take years to unfold. In the meantime, the Big Brother approach of Biden and his enablers in social media can continue.

The best advice for investors is not to believe anything coming out of Washington or social media. It’s best to seek out independent advice from those without conflicts or political agendas.

Those voices are becoming increasingly rare.

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