Not that Trump cares, because the court also did him a favor.
The justices handed the cases — one involving the New York DA’s investigation of hush money payments to Trump’s alleged former mistress and the other involving lawmakers in the House — back to lower courts.
Has John Roberts been watching ‘Hamilton’?
We went to CNN’s Katelyn Polantz to ask about today’s decision and what it means both for Trump and for future presidents. Our conversation is below:
ZBW: I find the Supreme Court to be extremely frustrating. They SAY he’s not above the law. But they also make sure voters will not see his financial information. What’s your take?
KP: A grand jury or Congress may not get access to Trump’s records by the election, but these opinions aren’t about the election. They’re about history and figuring out the justice system’s place in it.
You can tell by how much time Chief Justice Roberts spends, especially in the Vance decision, writing about events as far back as the saga of Aaron Burr. (Roberts even throws in a footnote about how the governor of the Louisiana Territory colluded with Spain!)
“In the two centuries since the Burr trial, successive Presidents have accepted [Chief Justice John] Marshall’s ruling that the Chief Executive is subject to subpoena,” Roberts writes.
Mueller never pulled the trigger, deciding his investigation didn’t want or need a detour in court over a subpoena when the fact-finding was already winding down.
But now we know what the Supreme Court likely would have said about that: The President is just like every man when it comes to criminal law.
An absolute immunity for the President isn’t “necessary or appropriate,” Roberts writes in this case. “Two hundred years ago, a great jurist of our Court established that no citizen, not even the President, is categorically above the common duty to produce evidence when called upon in a criminal proceeding. We reaffirm that principle,” the opinion ends.
So here we are, 200 years after Burr’s trial and almost three years after the question dogged the Mueller investigation. We have an answer now going forward, past November.
The latest on Covid
We keep writing the same thing every day, but it’s getting more important, not less. So here goes: The disconnect between Trump and the scientists is only getting more intense.
He later clarified that. “Rather than think in terms of reverting back down to a complete shutdown, I would think we need to get the states pausing in their opening process,” Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told The Hill’s editor-at-large Steve Clemons on Thursday.
What was it all for? The most galling thing about this new surge of coronavirus is that the early sacrifice of shutting down the economy now feels completely wasted. Everyone shut things down. And, because states opened early, it’s raging all over again.
Stop saying what should happen. Figure out how.
And it’s also why Trump’s demand that schools open is so craven. Of course the schools should open. Everyone wants the schools to open.
It’s how to open up without spreading the disease that no one can seem to figure out.
If the schools open, as Trump demands, and teachers and other adults who work there get sick, they’ll close again. Just like the states that must now pause reopening.
Yesterday, it was a summer camp in Arkansas that closed after people started testing positive. Now Nashville says it’s delaying the opening of its school year — which had been planned for August 4 — until Labor Day at least.
Presidents and policymakers need to play chess: Think ahead, identify possible outcomes and be ready for contingencies.
That’s hard to do when you don’t believe there’s a problem.