Supreme Court to Decide on Trump’s Immunity; Judge Disqualifies Him from Illinois Primaries

The United States Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether former President Donald Trump, a candidate for re-election, can be prosecuted for electoral interference in the 2020 presidential election or if he enjoys immunity. On the same day, a judge ordered the Illinois Electoral Board to remove Trump from the ballots for the Republican primaries due to his role in the Capitol riot. However, the judge suspended the decision pending an appeal from Trump or a possible Supreme Court ruling.

The Supreme Court of the United States has agreed to rule on the immunity that Donald Trump claims to avoid trial for his attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Trump (2017-2021) appealed on February 12 to the Supreme Court a lower court’s decision that determined that the former president did not have presidential immunity and should be tried for attempting to reverse the results of the 2020 election, instigating the Capitol riot in January 2021.

The issue of immunity has become a stumbling block in the various cases against Trump, especially in the one in Washington D.C. for trying to reverse the 2020 result, when he lost the election to Democrat Joe Biden.

Donald Trump, a top favorite in the Republican primaries for the presidential elections, is the first former U.S. president to face criminal charges.

The former president seeks to prevent or at least delay a trial for his attempts to overturn the presidential election results won by Biden, which are linked to his alleged role in the assault launched by his supporters on the Capitol on January 6, 2021.

In this regard, Trump celebrated on Wednesday that the Supreme Court has agreed to debate the case regarding his immunity, making it very difficult for him to be tried for the Capitol riot before the November elections.

“Legal and academic experts have stated that the president must have total presidential immunity. A president must have the freedom to make appropriate decisions. His mind must be clear and not guided by fear of reprisals!” said Trump.

Three of the nine justices on the Supreme Court of the United States were appointed by Donald Trump.

The Supreme Court justices could either refuse to consider the case, temporarily halt the process against Trump while they debate presidential immunity, or hold a hearing to listen to the parties.

When and What Will the Court Decide?

The Supreme Court agreed to hear oral arguments the week of April 22.

This announcement effectively postpones the trial against Trump in Washington, which was initially scheduled for March 4 but had already been postponed. Pretrial proceedings are on hold until a decision is made.

Read also
Trump Asks Supreme Court to Intervene in Case on His Immunity and the Capitol Riot

Trump’s legal team has tried to delay any judicial process against him, as a potential Trump victory in the elections over current President Joe Biden would make him the head of the executive branch and give him the authority to order his attorney general to dismiss federal charges against him.
Members of the Oath Keepers organization take position in front of the Capitol during the storming of the building to prevent the proclamation of President Joe Biden, January 6, 2021
Members of the Oath Keepers organization take position in front of the Capitol during the storming of the building to prevent the proclamation of President Joe Biden, January 6, 2021 © AP/Manuel Balce Ceneta

The Supreme Court justices will only decide if, and to what extent, a former president has immunity for conduct allegedly related to official activities during his term.

The one in Washington is one of the criminal charges he faces now. One of the trials is in New York for alleged irregular payments to porn actress Stormy Daniels, currently set for March 25.

Additionally, the trial in Florida is scheduled for May 20, where he is accused of illegally storing classified material at his Mar-a-Lago mansion after leaving office.

Lastly, the Fulton County (Georgia) District Attorney’s Office accuses Trump of attempting to subvert the 2020 election results in that state, but that process has not yet been scheduled for a start date.

New Disqualification from the Primaries

On the same Wednesday, a judge in the state of Illinois prohibited Trump from appearing on the ballot for the Illinois Republican presidential primaries due to his role in the Capitol insurrection, but suspended the decision pending an appeal or a ruling by the Supreme Court.

Cook County Circuit Judge Tracie Porter sided with Illinois voters who argued that the former president should be disqualified from the state’s March 19 primary elections and the November 5 general elections for violating the anti-insurrection clause of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution.

Porter said she would suspend her decision because she expected her appeal to the Illinois appellate courts and a possible ruling by the Supreme Court of the United States.

Colorado and Maine previously removed Trump from their state ballots after determining that he is disqualified under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. Both decisions are on hold as Trump appeals.

The Supreme Court is currently weighing Trump’s challenge to his disqualification in Colorado. Washington judges were skeptical of the decision during oral arguments in the case, expressing concern that states were taking actions affecting national elections.

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