Resolute Square

The Red Court Delays Justice

Rick Wilson shares his thoughts on the compromised Supreme Court's decision to hear Donald Trump's inane claim of "Presidential immunity." What do you call leaders who cannot be held accountable for crimes? Dictators.
Published:February 29, 2024

By Rick Wilson

The Supreme Court’s decision last night to finally take up the question of whether Donald Trump enjoys eternal and total Presidential immunity for his actions in the January 6th case brought by Special Counsel Jack Smith sent a shockwave through the nation last night, dismaying Democrats and Americans who understand the implications of the delay.

The Court handed Donald Trump two gifts last night: time and comfort. Both have a shelf life, but the widespread dismay over the delay is justifiable.

The gift of time was so deliberate that it can only serve as one more blow to the Supreme Court’s battered reputation. The Court can, has, and should move with dispatch in vital cases and matters. If the immunity case isn’t of the most critical urgency and consequence, what is?

Take it as given that the Supreme Court of 2024 is the most intensely political of our lifetimes, a product not simply of the Federalist Society’s Long March but a body that seems increasingly wary of defying the movement that elected the man who put a third of them on the bench. After all, Clarence Thomas hasn’t recused himself, and Chief Justice Roberts seems apathetic to Ginni Thomas’s role in the case.

Whatever the Court’s rationale for the delay, they can’t blame the public for believing in a political overlay to the decision.

Inside the Court, I wonder if they realize that this case isn’t Bush v. Gore. That case, as passionately fought and politically charged as it was, was brought between two political bodies based on rational standards. It was hard fought, ugly, and heated, but the outcome in either direction wouldn’t have plunged America into a new form of government.

To put it mildly, this case is more significant and consequential.

Either they grant Trump total immunity — a decision that will fundamentally reshape the American political landscape and catapult executive power and discretion wildly beyond the intention of the Founders — or they plan to say he is liable for his actions, at which point the trial for his crimes on January 6 runs smack into the campaign season.

The Court is aware that they’ve delayed the trial at least four months, well past the point at which Donald Trump will be the official Republican nominee. That timeframe is something that doubtless weighs heavily on Attorney General Merrick Garland. The clock is running, and Trump, Garland, and the Court know it. At some point, Garland calls Smith and says, “End it.”

Former Representative and January 6th Committee Member Liz Cheney said it best: Delaying the January 6 trial suppresses critical evidence that Americans deserve to hear. Donald Trump attempted to overturn an election and seize power. Our justice system must be able to bring him to trial before the next election. SCOTUS should decide this case promptly.

The Supreme Court is a co-equal branch of government. It’s a shame this delay makes it look like one more branch of MAGA, Inc.