Former President Donald Trump has petitioned the Supreme Court for an additional delay in his January 6 election conspiracy case.
This comes after a recent decision by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals that firmly dismissed his claims of presidential immunity.
The appellate court ruled last week that Trump is not protected from prosecution on federal charges alleging he conspired to retain power after the 2020 presidential election. With the three-judge panel granting him until today to seek a stay of the ruling, the case risks resuming and proceeding to trial without it.
In their brief to the high court, Trump’s legal team expressed concern that the D.C. Circuit’s decision effectively greenlights a criminal trial against him for official acts, even before the Supreme Court concludes its review of the matter. They argue that such a scenario would severely undermine the separation of powers, marking a significant constitutional infringement.
“the D.C. Circuit’s judgment seemingly authorizes the district court to conduct a criminal trial of President Trump based on his official acts before this Court concludes its review of this momentous question — thus subjecting the Presidency to the most intrusive possible ‘examin[ation] by the courts,’ id., and inflicting one of the gravest wounds to the separation of powers in our Nation’s history.” Trump’s attorneys wrote in their brief to the high court today.
Originally slated for March 4, the trial’s schedule was put on hold as Trump asserted his immunity from prosecution due to the alleged actions occurring during his presidential tenure. Trump contends that the charges against him relate to official presidential duties.
With options to request an en banc review from the D.C. circuit or seek Supreme Court intervention, Trump’s legal battle continues. The appellate judges highlighted the gravity of the allegations, characterizing Trump’s purported efforts to cling to power post-election as an unprecedented assault on governmental structure and constitutional norms.
They emphasized the importance of accountability, warning against further entrenching presidential authority at the expense of congressional oversight.
The appellate judges wrote in their decision, “Former President Trump’s alleged efforts to remain in power despite losing the 2020 election were, if proven, an unprecedented assault on the structure of our government. He allegedly injected himself into a process in which the President has no role — the counting and certifying of the Electoral College votes — thereby undermining constitutionally established procedures and the will of Congress. To immunize former President Trump’s actions would ‘further … aggrandize the presidential office, already so potent and so relatively immune from judicial review, at the expense of Congress.’”