U.S. Supreme Court rules that Trump has immunity from prosecution for official acts as president but not for unofficial acts....Sends case back to the trial court as the presidential election nears.... By Clevelandurbannews.com, Ohio's Black digital news leader

Clevelandurbannews.com and Kathywraycolemanonlinenewsblog.com

By Kathy Wray Coleman, editor, associate publisher

WASHINGTON, D.C.-The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday ruled 6-3 that former President Donald Trump (pictured) and all other presidents similarly situated have immunity from prosecution for official acts undertaken as president, a historic decision by all accounts.

The case now heads back to the trial court for a determination on what acts by Trump were, in fact, official and not official, opening the door for further appeals and solidifying the prediction by pundits that the former president will certainly not face trial in the case at issue before the November presidential election, a case that centers around his involvement in the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection at the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.

The ruling impacts whether Trump will face a federal trial on four felony counts brought by special counsel Jack Smith, including conspiracy to defraud the U.S. and obstruction of an official proceeding, for his alleged attempts to overturn his 2020 election loss to President Joe Biden.

The court, however, made it clear via its ruling that private and  unofficial acts by Trump or any other president or former president are open to criminal prosecution and potential liability for illegal activity.

"The President enjoys no immunity for his unofficial acts, and not everything the President does is official," Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the majority. "The President is not above the law. But Congress may not criminalize the President’s conduct in carrying out the responsibilities of the Executive Branch under the Constitution. And the system of separated powers designed by the Framers has always demanded an energetic, independent Executive." 

The nation's highest court heard  oral arguments in the case in April and a ruling, initially expected in June, came down today with all three liberal justices, Elena Kagan, Katanji Brown Jackson and Sonia Sotomayor, dissenting, Brown Jackson a Biden appointee and the first and only Black woman Supreme Court justice.

Justice Sotomayor wrote in her dissent that "shielding Trump from prosecution for his White House actions sets a precedent that U.S. commanders-in-chief can abuse their powers without facing punishment."

Trump had claimed in the unprecedented legal case that he is immune from all criminal charges for acts that he said fell within his duties as president, including that he incited the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the nation's Capitol Building. 

A U.S. District Court out of Washington, D.C. rejected Mr Trump's immunity arguments earlier this year and he appealed, and after losing, he appealed that ruling to the Supreme Court that has three Trump appointees, Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney-Barrett. All three were among the conservative majority relative to Monday's celebrated decision.

The Supreme Court taking the case was, in itself, a victory for the former president as it increased the chances that his trial would likely not happen before November's presidential election, a 2020 rematch between Trump and incumbent President Joe Biden.

The former president was elated with Monday's decision and said on his Truth Social site as he did prior to the ruling that without immunity presidents would  be "paralyzed by the prospect of wrongful prosecution and retaliation after they leave office."

Trump, 78,  was indicted last year on numerous counts, including witness tampering and conspiracy to defraud the U.S. over his alleged attempts to overturn his 2020 election loss to Biden. The trial was originally scheduled for March. 

Prosecutor Jack Smith, who was appointed as special counsel in the investigation, wanted the trial to be held this year. He initially asked the Supreme Court to take up the immunity question to no avail and this left the federal court to address the matter. It rejected Trump's immunity claim and it is from that ruling, which was upheld on appeal, that Mr. Trump successfully sought ultimate review by the Supreme Court. 

"We cannot accept former President Trump's claim that a president has unbounded authority to commit crimes that would neutralize the most fundamental check on executive power - the recognition and implementation of election results," the appeals court wrote in upholding the trial court ruling, a decision that prompted Monday's Supreme Court decision that he is immune from prosecution for official acts as president in what Trump's supporters are calling a win for the former president.

Clevelandurbannews.com and Kathywraycolemanonlinenewsblog.com, the most read Black digital newspaper and Black blog in Ohio and in the Midwest. Tel: (216) 659-0473. Email: editor@clevelandurbannews.com. We interviewed former president Barack Obama one-on-one when he was campaigning for president. As to the Obama interview. CLICK HERE TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE AT CLEVELAND URBAN NEWS.COM, OHIO'S LEADER IN BLACK DIGITAL NEWS.

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