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ENABLERS: Supreme Court gives Trump the TRIAL DELAY he wants

ENABLERS: Supreme Court gives Trump the TRIAL DELAY he wants

The U.S. Supreme Court just gave Trump his long-sought golden delay in prosecuting the January 6th charges filed in Washington D.C. Federal District Court.

Late Wednesday, the Supreme Court issued a brief order stating that it would hear Donald Trump’s claim for immunity from prosecution (for acts as president) with oral argument set for the week of April 22nd, while also staying all proceedings in the January 6th case, the most significant charge and the one that had been the most likely to make it to trial.

It is all now on hold. Discovery won’t be traded. Pre-trial motions won’t be filed. The case is frozen pending a decision from a Supreme Court that is scheduling as though they’ve just been given an aggressive dose of sedatives.

The only way the scenario gets worse is that the Court waits to issue a lengthy decision in late June, perhaps one that requires further litigation and fact-finding on this particular issue prior to even prosecuting Trump. But even a late June decision to go ahead is bad enough.

This was literally the worst case scenario for anyone wanting to see a jury trial over Trump’s January 6th actions. He may literally go the rest of his life without ever having to answer for that day.

How did we get here?

First, before we put any blame on the United States Supreme Court, we cannot let Merrick Garland’s DOJ off the hook. In a sense, Donald Trump is absolutely right. These cases should not have languished until this year. They should have been tried in early to mid-2023.

Many of us were calling out Attorney General Garland and the DOJ by late 2021 for quite obviously not doing anything to determine whether to prosecute anyone in the White House.

Had Garland come into office and said, “First priority, investigate January 6th so it never happens again. Start at the top and work your way down. If the facts point toward a prosecution, prosecute. If not, we do not.”

Any charges should have been brought in and around the time the Select Committee made its presentation in mid-2022. Trials would have been in 2023. America underwent the century’s greatest crime against our nation on 9-11. We underwent the crime of the century against our constitutional government on Jan. 6th, 2021.

Without a stringent counter-attack and investigation, we simply invite another attack. We never experienced a second 9-11. They are already calling Jan. 6th the practice run for autocracy.

That’s our rant against the Justice Department.

So, let’s rejoin the issue regarding the problematic Supreme Court

Many of us believed that Jack Smith’s December motion to take Trump’s presidential immunity theory directly to the Supreme Court was deft appellate litigation. He needed an answer to the issue to get a jury’s decision. He needed a verdict soon enough to matter, soon enough to have value, soon enough for history — a verdict before the November 2024 election.

Efficiency and the need for an answer made it such that most believed the Court would accept the case directly and on an expedited basis. It is not an exotic legal question, just an unusual set of facts. Similar issues are handled all the time.

But when the Court sent out a one-line order in late December stating that the motion to hear the presidential immunity case on direct appeal was denied, we then let our minds run wild, believing that the Court may have already decided to accept the DC Circuit Court of Appeals ruling and turn down Trump’s inevitable request for review.

It made sense. The case was to be argued in the DC Court of Appeals at the end of the next week, and it was not a hard issue.

Why would the Supreme Court want it? Neither the trial court nor the appellate court had any trouble deciding the matter. Four eminently qualified federal judges examined the issue and emphatically ruled against Trump being immune from prosecution.

One doesn’t even need legal training to determine that it makes no sense that a former president cannot be charged for a crime committed in office (e.g. Espionage, fraud… ) in any case where the president could make any sort of claim to legitimacy.

Now, the Supreme Court has decided that it, too, must hear Trump’s case. That is bad enough.

But the Court has totally rejected all signs of expediting anything in scheduling the matter so far out. More damning, by keeping a “stay” in place until the Court hears it, the trial could perhaps happen in mid-September with no guarantee it would be held prior to the election.

If you wanted to see possible proof of an extreme right-wing court doing an extreme right-wing act in the open, this would be it.

It sure looks like Americans will go to the polls to vote either for or against a man who, perhaps, committed a crime in the last election without knowing the answer.

Many things had to come together to create this “worst-case” scenario. It took a candidate who was willing to violently attempt to keep power, compounded by the failure of just eleven more Republican Senators to vote “Guilty” in Trump’s second impeachment, an inexplicably disinterested Justice Department, a more reckless Trump, and only then a Supreme Court willing to carry the ball for the extreme right.

It is a Swiss-cheese situation. Many holes had to align along the way. But they did. And the Supreme Court was the last one, and one with the freedom to cap it.

Instead, we got the worst-case scenario. One would think Trump would want an acquittal if he truly believes he’s innocent.

We knew we had a cowardly and extreme court, but… wow.

Editor’s note: This is an opinion column that solely reflects the opinions of the author

Jason Miciak
Jason Miciak is an associate editor and opinion writer for Occupy Democrats. He's a Canadian-American who grew up in the Pacific Northwest. He is a trained attorney, but for the last five years, he's devoted his time to writing political news and analysis. He enjoys life on the Gulf Coast as a single dad to a 15-year-old daughter. Hobbies include flower pots, cooking, and doing what his daughter tells him they're doing. Sign up to get all of my posts by email right here:

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