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The US Supreme Court’s “upside-down” logic in Trump immunity case

The US Supreme Court’s “upside-down” logic in Trump immunity case
The US Supreme Court’s “upside-down” logic in Trump immunity case

2024 is certain to be a historic year for the US Supreme Court: In June, SCOTUS will issue rulings on former president Donald Trump’s immunity claims in charges brought by Special Counsel Jack Smith involving Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election. Emily Bazelon joins Ian Bremmer on GZERO World to unpack the legal arguments at the heart of the case and what caught SCOTUS experts off-guard during oral arguments.

“It seemed going in that this was a pretty clear case,” Bazelon explains, “That Trump’s claims that he has absolute immunity for acts he committed in office is just too broad. It seemed obvious, and then it didn’t seem obvious at all.”

Like in the 2000 Bush v. Gore case that ultimately handed the election win to George W. Bush, Court watchers had expected the justices to issue a narrow ruling in the Trump case. But during arguments, the conservative justices asked questions that seemed more interested in raising hypotheticals about whether limiting the scope of immunity might restrict a president’s power too much. With Trump again on the ballot in 2024, the stakes could not be higher. Will the justices make a limited ruling or wade into the politics of the US presidential election with, as Justice Gorsuch put it, “a ruling for the ages”?

Catch GZERO World with Ian Bremmer every week on US public television (check local listings) and online.


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