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Big week for the “Big Lie” in the Supreme Court

In its final week in session, the US Supreme Court will decide two cases involving Donald Trump’s attempt to overthrow the 2020 election. Both cases stem from a conspiracy spread by Trump and his allies that Joe Biden stole the 2020 election through voter fraud. This stolen election conspiracy, dubbed the “Big Lie,” has deeply wounded American democracy, and it motivated thousands of Trump’s supporters to storm the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

The first case, on presidential immunity, looks at whether former presidents can be criminally prosecuted for actions taken while in office. Trump is using this claim to delay his federal indictment in DC – arguing that presidential immunity prevents him from being prosecuted for his actions on Jan. 6. Special counsel Jack Smith has argued that the broad scope Trump proposes would give presidents a free pass for criminal conduct.

When the court heard the oral arguments in April, they appeared ready to rule that presidents have some degree of immunity, which would further delay the DC case and make it all but guaranteed that it is not decided before November’s election.

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US Capitol under attack on January 6th.

Leslie dela Vega

Ian Bremmer: American democracy at risk thanks to conspiracy theories

American democracy is in crisis, says Eurasia Group President Ian Bremmer, largely because “one thing not in short supply this election season: conspiracy theories.”

Trust in institutions – from the Supreme Court to public schools – is at an all-time low, and only 44% of Americans have confidence in the honesty of elections. Distrust and election-related disinformation are leaving society vulnerable to conspiracy theories.

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