Mon. Jul 15th, 2024

Trump’s near-total Supreme Court victory: From the Politics Desk

By 37ci3 Jul1,2024

Welcome to the online version of From the policy deskevening bulletin that brings you the latest reporting and analysis from the campaign trail, the White House and Capitol Hill from the NBC News Politics team.

In today’s edition, senior national political correspondent Jonathan Allen talks about a good day for Donald Trump at the Supreme Court. Plus, senior politics editor Mark Murray and campaign contributor Katherine Koretski explore the key role rare voters can play in this year’s election.

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Trump almost wins the Supreme Court

By Jonathan Allen

Donald Trump won almost outright on Monday In the Supreme Court on several fronts.

The 6-3 majority gives him and future presidents broad immunity from criminal prosecution according to the measures taken together with the administrationbut ensures that he will not be prosecuted in the case of interference in the federal election before the November elections and confirms the idea that the head of the country’s executive should be given almost unlimited powers.

Voters are still unclear about the decision of the Trump-friendly court, which split along the familiar line of six Republican-appointed judges coming together to overcome three Democratic-appointed judges.

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While Trump didn’t get the full immunity he says he’s entitled to, the court appears to have given presidents more protection than their lawyers wanted. Finally, Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the majority, developed three buckets for the president’s consideration of criminal activity: official acts, unofficial acts, and acts that are not easily classified.

The president is immune from prosecution for official acts, but does not receive legal immunity for acts done outside of his official duties. But for the third category, Roberts wrote, courts must make case-by-case decisions, and the president has considerable leverage: “presumptive immunity.”

That puts the burden on special counsel Jack Smith to show that Trump’s efforts to nullify the 2020 election are taking place outside the “outer perimeter” of official acts. In addition, Roberts concluded that the president’s immunity from prosecution cannot be used as evidence in the prosecution of impeachment charges.

Roberts called the decision “one for the ages” — an obvious bid to convince the public that it was about more than Trump. And in reality, now it is about expanding the powers of the president.

But the question raised — and answered — by Trump’s extraordinary effort to overturn the 2020 election looms larger and closer than the ongoing shifts in the balance of power. Trump is a unique figure in American political history, and he has pushed the boundaries of presidential power both as commander-in-chief and as a former holder of that role.

One good way to understand the decision was not a sweep of history and the Constitution, but about this point: the ambiguity of court rules to distinguish between formal and informal acts. The opinion is an invitation to refer any future decision by a lower court judge on the matter back to the Supreme Court.

Roberts also went out of his way to write that the president is not above the law. But the decision makes it clear that holding the president accountable for a range of crimes that would otherwise be felonies is over the top. The president may not be above the law, but in Roberts’s setting, he is above his fellow citizens and above prosecution for many crimes.

From an electoral perspective, this view gives Trump at least a temporary basis for his claim that he has done nothing illegal. That remains to be determined, but Smith’s case just got more complicated.

Democrats will have to argue that it would be a nightmare for the country if Trump was elected to an office more powerful than the one he just left. But President Joe Biden was weakened by him disastrous debate performance He may be a figure unlikely to do so effectively, having refrained from publicly criticizing the court for the past week and for a long time. It may not be in his constitution.

Read what the court’s decision means for future presidents from NBC News’ Lawrence Hurley →

Meet the sporadic voters who could decide the 2024 election

By Mark Murray and Katherine Koretsky

Four years ago, neither Joseph Mitchum nor Laura Brooks ran in the last presidential election.

But voters like them could very well decide the outcome of the race for the White House in November.

Mitchum, of Georgia, and Brooks, of Michigan, both took part in NBC News polls this year and told pollsters they would support Trump over Biden — mirroring a broad trend in public opinion polls that show Trump has a significant lead over others. Those who did not vote in 2020.

The results of the last three NBC News national polls — all taken before last week’s debate — show a 25-point swing against Trump among absentee voters in both 2020 and 2022, compared with voters who voted in the last two national elections. elections.

If those voters vote this time, it could make the difference between winning and losing for Trump. Both Mitchum and Brooks highlight the big question of whether these 2020 absentee voters will actually show up in November.

Mitchum, 24, said he will definitely vote in 2024 after not registering to vote in 2020. “Yes, I’m going to vote,” he said.

“I really don’t like what’s happening on our border,” he said, explaining why he supports Trump. “The other thing is, I’m pro-gun rights.”

But Brooks, 25, said in a follow-up interview that he won’t be on the ballot in November, though he will back Trump in the poll. (Like Mitchum, Brooks is not registered to vote in 2020.)

“Biden, he’s looking a little old now,” he told NBC News. “And there’s all the legal stuff going on around him with Trump.”

“I’ve never seen a pony show like this,” Brooks said.

Read more about sporadic voters of 2024 →

🗞️ The best stories of the day

  • 🧹 Cleaning in corridor 46: As Biden gathered with his family over the weekend and urged him to continue fighting after last week’s debate, his aides sought to privately counter suggestions that the president should step aside as the Democratic nominee. More →
  • 🤝 Whitmer says he’s with Joe: Politico is pushing for Governor Gretchen Whitmer to replace Biden, who the Michigan Democrat distanced himself from in a call with a top Biden campaign official. More →
  • 🗳️ On the ballot: Nevada has become the sixth state to put an abortion rights amendment directly before voters in November. More →
  • 🗣️ Bannon tells the prison: Trump ally Steve Bannon said he was “proud to go to jail” as he announced Monday that he was serving a four-month prison sentence for defying Congressional subpoenas. More →
  • 🌵 West to West Aid: Operatives associated with a Republican-leaning firm are helping to gather signatures for independent presidential candidate Cornel West in Arizona. More →
  • ⚖️ Go your own way: Justice Amy Coney Barrett anchored the Supreme Court’s conservative leanings, but she wrote several opinions critical of her colleagues on the right and sometimes sided with liberal justices. More →
  • 🏃🏼 Hanging up running shoes: The Supreme Court now publishes its judgments online, meaning that the summer tradition of “running out to practitioners” to report decisions is no more. More →

That’s all for the Policy Desk for now. If you have feedback – like it or not – send us an email

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