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From TPM Reader JB

Per your correspondent WT’s comments posted this morning:  I made a comment on Twitter before the Trump v. US ruling that the Court was taking so long because Republican Justices were looking for a way to protect Trump without empowering future Democratic Presidents.

It was a joke, the kind of sour humor that is the best I can do anymore.  But Roberts’ ruling did exactly what I said the Court’s Republicans were aiming for.

The elaborate hurdles to criminal trials he erected wouldn’t even have been relevant to any previous President, even Nixon (though that is arguable).  It isn’t remotely relevant to anything in the Biden Presidency.  The American Presidency has such vast power already that breaking criminal law isn’t needed for a President to do what he needs to do.  

Trump v. US would make sense if Roberts believed what Trump has always professed, that all the prosecutions against him are political persecution coordinated by the Biden White House.  

To be fair, Justice Alito (or at least his wife), may actually believe this.  But John Roberts is not such an idiot.  He targeted the charges against Trump with surgical precision, either blowing them up completely or ensuring Trump will not be tried for years.  In the process he opened to door for any future President who wants to break laws to do so with impunity — to be another Trump.  I think this was incidental to his purpose, which was also the purpose of the Court’s long delay in considering Trump’s extravagant claim of immunity.

Trump v. US was written by a Republican Chief Justice to protect Trump, the Republican Party’s leader, and by protecting Trump preserving the Republican Party’s electoral prospects.  Whatever it might do to American democracy post-Trump is incidental.  For the Republican majority on the Court, as for every Republican on their ballot this year, Trump must be above the law.

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