“Something’s Rotten About the Justices Taking So Long on Trump’s Immunity Case”

Leah Litman NYT oped:

This court has lost the benefit of the doubt for myriad reasons, including its willingness to act quickly in cases that benefit Republican interests. In addition to the disqualification case, two and a half years ago, the court scheduled a challenge to the Biden administration’s test-or-vaccinate policy two weeks after the justices decided to hear it, and then issued a decision invalidating the policy less than one week later.

In a case in South Carolina decided by the court 6-3 in May, it was not speed but sloth that aided Republicans. The court allowed the state to continue using a 2021 congressional map that a lower court had found was an unconstitutional racial gerrymander. Both parties in the case had asked the court to rule by Jan. 1; when no decision was issued by mid-March, a district court panel ordered the contested map to be used in this fall’s election.

In the immunity case, the question before the court is this: “Whether and if so to what extent does a former president enjoy presidential immunity from criminal prosecution for conduct alleged to involve official acts during his tenure in office.”

In addressing that question, the court could follow a path well charted in other cases and rule narrowly. The justices need not resolve anything and everything related to presidential immunity. It would be enough to conclude that whatever the precise bounds of presidential immunity, it doesn’t extend to orchestrating a monthslong effort to overturn the valid results of a presidential election.

Even if presidents enjoy some immunity for official acts, plotting to remain in office while continuing to question the results of an election they clearly lost isn’t one of them.

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