Is the US Presidency above the law? UOW expert on US Supreme Court decision

Is the US Presidency above the law? UOW expert on US Supreme Court decision

Professor Markus Wagner says Supreme Court ruling a threat to democracy

United States constitutional law expert Professor Markus Wagner is available for interview about the United States Supreme Court decision regarding Donald Trump.

Professor Wagner says the most recent US Supreme Court decision has put into stark relief two different conceptions of democracy. 

“The majority found that presidents enjoy substantial immunity from prosecution on charges of trying to overturn the last election in order to protect ‘an energetic, independent executive’,” Professor Wagner said.

“The minority on the other hand pointed to the risk that the majority’s decision ‘to grant former presidents criminal immunity reshapes the institution of the presidency’.

“The majority of the Supreme Court puts into question a fundamental tenet of democracy: accountability for official actions. The majority’s ruling would have been understandable in ordinary times, with presidential candidates acting within accepted democratic norms. 

“However, former President Trump and likely Republican Party candidate Donald Trump has eviscerated the usual boundaries and has threatened retribution against political adversaries, military action against foreign countries, or to change electoral outcomes.”

Professor Wagner says any such action would now likely be covered by this wide-ranging immunity. 

“The immediate result of the ruling is a further delay in the federal cases that are pending against former President Trump over the January 6 riots,” Professor Wagner said.

“Should Donald Trump prevail in the upcoming elections, he would likely order the Department of Justice to drop the charges against him.”


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