U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Trump immunity appeal raises doubts he will face trial in Jan. 6 case

Dave Goldiner, New York Daily News on

Published in Political News

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to hear former President Donald Trump’s claim that he has blanket immunity could effectively allow him to avoid facing a jury’s judgment in the Jan. 6 federal election interference case before the fall election.

The conservative-dominated court’s ruling that it will only hear oral arguments on Trump’s appeal in late April means a trial would almost certainly be delayed until late September at the earliest, even if the Supreme Court justices shoot down Trump’s immunity claim, legal analysts say.

The case is expected to take about three months, meaning it would take a legal Hail Mary for Trump to face a verdict from a jury of his peers before Election Day.

“They have given Trump the win,” Andrew Weissman, a former federal prosecutor, said Thursday on MSNBC. “It’s very, very hard to see how this goes to trial before the election.”

The top court could have rejected the appeal and let stand a comprehensive and unanimous ruling by an appeals court panel rejecting Trump’s claim.

That would have allowed the trial to start as soon as late spring with a verdict possible by Labor Day.


The fact the court decided to schedule the case when it did — taking much more time than its hearing on the decision of a Colorado court to bar Trump from the ballot for violating the 14th Amendment — suggests to some political observers that they are intent on letting voters decide Trump’s fate, not a jury.

“The Supreme Court’s message to us is: ‘Hey voters, we’re leaving this up to you,’” Joyce Alene Vance, an Alabama law professor and former federal prosecutor, tweeted.

Some Supreme Court-watchers note that the two months before oral arguments is still a speedy time frame by the top court’s standards.

Those analysts dispute the notion that the court is letting Trump off the legal hook, suggesting that a trial could still be resolved before America goes to the polls on Nov. 5.


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