The Supreme Court of the United States, rather than actually following the constitution lately, has been (many people argue) bowing to the liberal agenda wherever possible. And in the latest ‘ruling,’ SCOTUS decided to simply pass the buck.
Basically, the court ruled that the case concerning New York’s attempt to “find” wrongdoing by examining the president’s tax records will go back to a lower court for arguments. The president doesn’t have to disclose the records right now.
The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that President Trump is not immune from a subpoena over his financial and tax records to Democratic Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr., who has subpoenaed the records as part of a criminal investigation into potential wrongdoing by the president and his organization.
The Supreme Court has thrown the case of whether state grand juries can access to Trump’s personal tax records back to the lower court, sidestepping the broader issue for now.
“President is neither absolutely immune from state criminal subpoenas seeking his private papers nor entitled to a heightened standard of need,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the court’s majority opinion. The court limited its ruling and the arguments before it to whether Trump has “absolute immunity” and state prosecutors are required to show a “heightened need” in order to obtain documents as part of investigations into a president.
The president “may raise further arguments as appropriate,” in lower courts in an effort to keep Vance from obtaining his documents, Roberts wrote.
… [The ruling can] be read as a partial victory for the president, as the court in this case and one other decided Thursday did not require the president, in the midst of a reelection campaign, to immediately disclose his documents.
Vance had argued in a brief that “[t]he subpoenas seek records, dating from 2011 to the present, concerning transactions that are unrelated to any official acts of the President, and that occurred largely before Petitioner assumed office.”
He also noted that among the potential criminal issues the president is under investigation for is alleged “hush money” given to women that he had affairs with, which may have equated to a campaign finance violation in which Trump was complicit.
[Insert giant eye-roll because this is all they have to accuse him of and given recent democrat arrests, seems ridiculous.]
Trump used personal lawyers rather than White House lawyers for both cases. Those lawyers made a sweeping argument about the level of immunity a president enjoys while in office.
A brief from Trump’s lawyers notes an Office of Legal Counsel opinion that the president cannot be indicted while in office, but goes even further to essentially argue that he cannot be subject to any form of criminal investigation.
“Under Article II, the Supremacy Clause, and the overall structure of our Constitution, the President of the United States cannot be ‘subject to the criminal process’ while he is in office,” it reads.
Trump’s lawyers also argued that letting prosecutors — especially local prosecutors — to investigate and potentially bring criminal action against the president steps on Congress’ impeachment power; that allowing localities to subpoena the president would essentially give them the power to coerce the chief executive into instituting their favored policies; and that the threat of criminal prosecution attached to grand jury subpoenas could distract the president from his duties.
The Thursday morning ruling, which came on the last day of opinions from the court in its 2019-2020 term, came on the same day as a ruling on whether the House of Representatives can subpoena the president’s records as part of its oversight and legislative functions.
The House case was also thrown to lower courts, meaning the president’s financial documents will not be immediately made public.