Ongoing discussion of SCOTUS cases (1 Viewer)

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    MT15

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    With the increased scrutiny due to recent revelations in the press I thought maybe we can use a SCOTUS thread. We can discuss the impending Senate investigation and the legislation proposed today by Murkowski and King in the Senate that will formalize ethical guidelines.

    We can also use this thread to highlight cases that possibly don’t deserve their own thread, like the following.

    I saw this case today, and I cannot believe the US Government is allowed to do this. Unreasonable search and seizure? The examples he gives in the rest of the thread are just sickening:

     
    I do think it’s an official act - foreign relations with foreign governments is one of the core constitutional duties of the president.

    I don’t think there’s any ambiguity about that. The proper recourse was impeachment.
    He has absolute immunity. Congress cannot inquire about his intent. How does congress reach impeachment if it cannot even investigate?

    Edit. I don't deny he has the official duty to deal with foreign entities. The boundary ends when he is using that privilege for his benefit. After all, if we were to allow Presidents for example to build a base in forktheussomewherestan where the base cannot be be defended. Further that country gives millions to that president personnaly bc a base benefits that country hypothetically. Reality though is that base serves zero benefits to the us. How then is it still official business? I simply don't buy this absolute distinction because of that. That's why intent is important.

    Edit part deux. Further, we have intent as a criteria in everyday law. Degrees of murder. But when it comes to Trump, intent is thrown out. Wtf
     
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    He has absolute immunity. Congress cannot inquire about his intent. How does congress reach impeachment if it cannot even investigate?

    Edit. I don't deny he has the official duty to deal with foreign entities. The boundary ends when he is using that privilege for his benefit. After all, if we were to allow Presidents for example to build a base in forktheussomewherestan where the base cannot be be defended. Further that country gives millions to that president personnaly bc a base benefits that country hypothetically. Reality though is that base serves zero benefits to the us. How then is it still official business? I simply don't buy this absolute distinction because of that. That's why intent is important.

    Edit part deux. Further, we have intent as a criteria in everyday law. Degrees of murder. But when it comes to Trump, intent is thrown out. Wtf

    He has absolute immunity from criminal prosecution - the Trump decision wasn't about Congress' impeachment power in any way. Congress can investigate. Congress has subpoena power. Congress can impeach and hold a trial.
     
    He has absolute immunity from criminal prosecution - the Trump decision wasn't about Congress' impeachment power in any way. Congress can investigate. Congress has subpoena power. Congress can impeach and hold a trial.
    Based on this ruling, the president would have absolute immunity involving all official acts. Overthrowing an election stealing classified documents are not official by any means. He should be hammered for this, no two ways about it.

    However, we’re faced with a broken bad SCOTUS who can twist rules any which way it wants, so if Donald Trump actually had a political opponent murdered, he could argue that it was for the sake of the country and this Supreme Court could conceivably grant him that that was an official act as commander-in-chief.

    And there’s no guarantee that the Supreme Court will be consistent. They could be willy-nilly hypocrites, on how they approach what’s official and what’s not, especially if Biden did it and then “oh well, he was out of bounds”.

    So for President Biden, based on this ruling I suggest that he’d have Trump arrested as treasonous and that he suspend the Supreme Court, dispatch law-enforcement to apprehend all conservative justices, and take them into custody for violating the constitution and he could call it an official act. “I’m protecting the country and the constitution from fascist elements, trying to undermine the country and the constitution”.

    Now think about it, Biden is very unlikely to do this. But now put Trump in his place. He’d forking do it in a heartbeat, If he thought he could get away with it if he had the supreme court, backing him. My best guess is that SCOTUS would bend over backwards to accommodate him. You might ask if there’s a bridge too far and I say in this climate it’s doubtful.

    The wildcard here would be the military. They might think it’s coup time to save the Constitution. 🤔
     
    He has absolute immunity from criminal prosecution - the Trump decision wasn't about Congress' impeachment power in any way. Congress can investigate. Congress has subpoena power. Congress can impeach and hold a trial.
    Yes, but Congress has failed at this repeatedly. They would never convict Trump. Even after Jan 6.
     
    He has absolute immunity from criminal prosecution - the Trump decision wasn't about Congress' impeachment power in any way. Congress can investigate. Congress has subpoena power. Congress can impeach and hold a trial.
    Point taken on the impeachment power.

    Still, I can't get past ignoring motivation. Back to Trump's impeachment. If the government decides to charge trump of bribery/blackmailing/coercion of a foreign official, how can we separate his usual official acts and that of his corruption without examining intent? There wasn't any tangible transactional facts. He withheld needed arms and can easily be interpreted as foreign relations.

    I have seen arguments here that Biden and Trump's handling of top secret reducing to intent. Do we now hold trump immune to exposing top secrets?
     
    I have seen arguments here that Biden and Trump's handling of top secret reducing to intent. Do we now hold trump immune to exposing top secrets?
    I think they could. They will at least try.
     
    He has absolute immunity from criminal prosecution - the Trump decision wasn't about Congress' impeachment power in any way. Congress can investigate. Congress has subpoena power. Congress can impeach and hold a trial.
    Impeachment is what everyone is ignoring who are saying Trump is now like a King and can do whatever he wants.
     
    Impeachment is what everyone is ignoring who are saying Trump is now like a King and can do whatever he wants.
    twice it did not work on trump. even overthrowing an election was not enough. so it's a hollow threat. The GOP will do anything trump wants. Hell, they are slithering on their bellies lying like a slug slug to please him now. it will only get worse.
     
    Let me just quote SaintForLife's own words from his following post:


    All that SainForLife showed with that post is that you can find people from the internet that say whatever lies you want to quote them as saying. Everything that wasn't SaintForLife's own words in the above post is a lie.

    Let me show you how easy it is. Let's say I wanted to make the argument bigfoot is real and some women have been impregnated by them. So I search on this:
    bigfoot impregnate woman

    And these are some of the links from the search result:



    "Our data indicate that the North American Sasquatch is a hybrid species, the result of males of an unknown hominin species crossing with female Homo sapiens,"





    So there you have it folks. No matter what all your other knowledge and common sense tells you, I quoted people saying that bigfoots have impregnated women, so that makes it true that bigfoots have impregnated women.

    Women, be careful when you're out in the woods, because you might get a horrible fright.
     
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    I understand your point entirely - and I see how you can come to that conclusion. And there's plenty of support for it and I agree that Trump exemplifies that we cannot always expect the president to act in the interest of the nation and the Constitution despite his oath to God.

    But in trying to parse out what the Trump v. US holding means with hypotheticals, I think it's important to place them in as much reality as we can. So here, the hypothetical is that Trump orders the assassination of a political rival (an American citizen living and operating on US soil) - and then alleges that the person was some kind of terror or security threat.

    This is easy to say, but it's actually an extraordinarily complicated scenario. First, it's important to note that this would likely be murder under both federal and a state law. Again, immunity is a defense to prosecution and it doesn't mean that the criminal law that defines the conduct as a crime doesn't exist - it is still a crime even if the perpetrator is immune from prosecution. As to immunity, if the president killed the opponent himself - like lets say he pulls a gun out at the debate and shoots him - then we go straight to the legal analysis section under Trump v. US.

    If, instead and more likely, he orders some federal unit to kill the opponent, that order is unquestionably unlawful: the United States has law regarding the use of deadly force by its agents. For example, even with the killing of Osama bin Laden, a known and ongoing threat to the United States in the form of a foreign terror leader operating outside of the United States, the Obama administration's lawyers prepared for the president a justification of the use of deadly force, valid under U.S. law. And in the case of the killing of Nasser Al-Aulaqi, a U.S. citizen working with Al Qaeda in Yemen, the government prepared a justification but still had to defend the action in court as the first time the US had ever pre-authorized the killing of a U.S. citizen without any trial, indictment, or due process.
    I think there's a fatal assumption in your reasoning. You assume that Trump administration lawyers won't prepare a justification for him. Trump picks his administration's lawyers and after his lawyers standing up to him in 2020, he's only going to pick yes men as lawyers prepare a justification for him.

    What happens if Trump's lawyers and advisors provide him justification following the same reasoning as the justifications for Osama and Al-Aluaqi? What happens if a court rules the justification is valid? I don't think it's a reasonable assumption to think the courts would rule the way you expect they would.
    Without such a justification, those federal units ordered to carry out the killing are on firm ground to refuse it and I think we'd be talking about a scenario where some fanatic of the president agrees to do it despite the compelling legal jeopardy they would face as they would not have immunity.
    I see two fatal assumptions here as well. First, the assumption that Trump would not load the government with agents and units that would do whatever he says. He and The Heritage Foundation are very loudly and proudly promising us they will and there will be bloodshed if we don't let them. The second is that Trump wouldn't just pardon the people who follow his orders a pardon which would give them fully immunity, which is without question an official act.

    While the Court ruled that the president's motive cannot be considered, that doesn't mean that the facts cannot be considered when determining whether the conduct was within the sphere of an official duty. In other words, I don't think the analysis simply accepts the president's characterization of the conduct - the president can't kill a rival and say "oh that was because he was a terrorist." The analysis can consider the factual context to determine whether it was or was not a function of the president's official duties.
    What happens if the president enters in to evidence the fact that he had lawyers and government agents who made the case for killing the person? At that point, the fact is that the president was advised it was both necessary and legal. Since you can't consider the president's intentions, what argument would you make in court that the president was not validly working off the advise of his advisors?

    he killing of an American politician is not within the president's duties and I don't think that simply alleging that the killing was a function of the president's national security power would ever be persuasive without some factual demonstration that it was plausibly within that authority.
    Like advisors presenting a case to him that it was necessary in the interest of national security, within his authority and justified? If that would put those advisors in legal peril, could anyone stop him from pardoning them? Pardoning is definitely an official act, so wouldn't he have immunity for that since his intentions in pardoning them can't be used to disqualify it as an official act?

    But given that the US government has never carried out such a killing (the president ordering the killing of a US citizen on US soil that wasn't the result of a justified use-of-force situation in that specific moment), I think that's simply a bridge too far - even with the broad immunity described in the ruling.
    I believe you think that and it might actually be the case, but I think you are giving too much benefit of doubt to the courts, especially the Supreme Court. We've never had a Trump president with a Supreme Court packed with a majority of justices that were screened and handpicked by the same people who are promising to implement Project 2025 and spill blood if we try to stop them and who have the full embrace and blessings of Trump if he's president.

    Thinking that the old rules and old assumptions are still the guiding principles if Trump is president is a grave mistake in my opinion.

    But again, to even get to the point where the ex-president is then asserting immunity from a criminal murder prosecution for killing a political rival, the United States would be in absolute turmoil. And I don't think the Trump immunity decision is all that big of a factor in that scenario.
    I agree with that. If we get to that point, the actual laws and rules are being ignored.

    It certainly wouldn't give any president a fair basis to think they could indeed murder their political rival with impunity - I just don't think it does that.
    And this is the rub. You say it wouldn't give any president a reason to think they could get away with. Trump is not just any president and he already thinks it does. We've already seen evidence he's convinced that it gives him the power to do anything he wants and we will start seeing more boldly vicious threats from him as the weeks go by. Trump is going to surround himself only with people that reinforces what he believes, not people who will challenge him. The people around Trump will confirm to him that he can do whatever he wants with immunity and that's the catalyst that will have Trump ordering things you think are impossible and the people around him will be fighting to get to be the one who carries it out.

    Sincerely, is there anything you can quote from anything anyone of the 6 justices said and/or wrote that is a clear warning message to Trump and future presidents not to try to abuse their ruling? These justices know Trump's nature. They knew how he would interpret it. They know how he has been interpreting it. They knew at the time they issued their opinions and they know now that Trump will try to abuse it. So is there any language in their opinions are in comments they've made since were they sent any kind of cautionary message that would get across to Trump that he needs to tread lightly?
     
    Yes, but Congress has failed at this repeatedly. They would never convict Trump. Even after Jan 6.
    And if indicted by the Senate upon being impeached, it only removes the president, there is no threat of imprisonment. They get to just walk away and carry on as usual.
     
    And if indicted by the Senate upon being impeached, it only removes the president, there is no threat of imprisonment. They get to just walk away and carry on as usual.
    Well, there is the threat of imprisonment for crimes he committed before and after, and even possibly during his term if it's determined his actions weren't part of his official duties. He's still subject to criminal prosecution otherwise after he's no longer President. Immunity doesn't apply outside the Presidency and why those current cases against him aren't being dropped just yet.
     
    twice it did not work on trump. even overthrowing an election was not enough. so it's a hollow threat. The GOP will do anything trump wants. Hell, they are slithering on their bellies lying like a slug slug to please him now. it will only get worse.
    Just because it didn't work out how Democrats hoped it would doesn't negate the fact that there is a system in place to remove a President despite all the ridiculous claims that they President is like a king now after the SCOTUS ruling.

    If Trump killed his political rival, enough Republicans would vote to impeach him.
     
    Only 2 of those occurred on US soil. The civil war was a stain on our country. If part of the country wanted to sucede today, it would be preferable to allow it rather than vast destruction and death. However, now a president is more likely to declare war.

    The president should’ve faced prosecution for the internment camps, but now can’t.

    I have no problem with presidents having qualified immunity for the nukes and drone attacks as official acts. They were very defensible in the goal of protecting America. The nukes saved many lives, as did the drone strikes on terrorists. The attacks on sovereign nations is a mixed bag. Arguably presidents should’ve been prosecuted for some, or at least be forced to defend their rationales. Now presidents can do as they wish with impunity. Is your re-post a defense of the immunity ruling?
    Those instances show the President enjoyed functional immunity from 1789 to 2023. SCOTUS has now codifed that immunity thanks to Jack Smith's cockamamie and newly concocted theory designed to specifically prosecute Trump.
     

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