Saturday, July 20, 2024

Biden: Supreme Court ruling on presidential immunity ‘dangerous precedent’

by David Specht

(The Center Square) – President Joe Biden Monday night said the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that the president has “absolute immunity” when acting in his core constitutional duties is “a dangerous precedent” that “undermines the rule of law of this nation.”

Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court in a 6-3 decision ruled that the “president’s exercise of his core constitutional powers, this immunity must be absolute. As for his remaining official actions, he is entitled to at least presumptive immunity.”

The ruling comes in response to former President Donald Trump’s claim that he has presidential immunity against charges brought against him over actions he took as president, including that he helped spur the Jan. 6, 2021, storming of the U.S. Capitol and his handling of classified documents after he left the White House.”

Addressing the nation from the White House, Biden criticized what he called the “conservative” court for its decision.

“No one, no one is above the law, not even the President of the United States,” Biden said. “That fundamentally changed for all practical purposes” with Monday’s ruling, “For all practical purposes, there are virtually no limits on what the president can do,” adding, “the only limits will be self-imposed by the president.”

The Supreme Court’s majority opinion noted the president does not have immunity for unofficial acts.

“As for a President’s unofficial acts, there is no immunity,” the ruling said. “Although Presidential immunity is required for official actions to ensure that the President’s decision making is not distorted by the threat of future litigation stemming from those actions, that concern does not support immunity for unofficial conduct.”

Trump, the first former president to face criminal charges, faces multiple counts in connection to the storming of the Capitol, namely that he allegedly lied and stirred up the crowd that eventually entered the Capitol. Trump’s defenders point out released a video calling for peaceful protests on Jan. 6.

Speaking after Biden, House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., on Fox News called the president’s comments “despicable and dangerous,” arguing Biden is “trying to undermine the Supreme Court itself.”

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