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Democrats Concerned by Bias in Trump-Related Court Cases

 May 4, 2024

Amidst ongoing federal cases involving former President Donald Trump, Democratic lawmakers are raising alarms over what they perceive as undue conservative influence in judicial proceedings, The Hill reported.

Concerns focus on potential biases that might shield Trump from accountability in crucial legal battles before the next Election Day.

Democratic senators have voiced apprehension regarding the pace at which the Supreme Court is handling allegations against Trump, linked to his actions surrounding the 2020 election and classified documents. They speculate that this delay could strategically avert a verdict before voters head to the polls this November.

High Stakes in Election Subversion and Classified Documents Cases

Two significant legal challenges involve Trump: one alleges that he attempted to undermine the 2020 election results, and another concerns his mishandling of sensitive government materials. Democrats argue that conservative justices seem to deliberately slow the proceedings in these cases.

The criticism notably targets Supreme Court conservatives and District Judge Aileen Cannon, with accusations that they deliberately complicate their decisions to protract the judicial process. This perceived delay tactic is particularly contentious as it might extend beyond the upcoming elections.

Debate Over Presidential Immunity Unfolds in Supreme Court

During recent Supreme Court oral arguments, conservative justices showed openness to arguments advocating broad presidential immunity for Trump, a stance that liberal Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson and others find troubling. They argue such immunity could shield presidents from criminal accountability.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Dick Durbin and other Democrats have expressed dismay at these arguments, describing them as surreal and contrary to foundational constitutional principles. Durbin highlighted extreme hypotheticals discussed in court, such as a president ordering lethal actions against perceived threats under the guise of national security.

Judicial Responses to Immunity Claims and Legislative Proposals

Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina anticipates that the Supreme Court might not make a definitive ruling on presidential immunity but instead, refer the matter back to lower courts for further examination. This could introduce additional delays in reaching a conclusive judgment.

Amidst these judicial maneuvers, a considerable segment of Republican voters express reservations about Trump's suitability for office if he is convicted. Meanwhile, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg presses forward with a separate case against Trump concerning business record falsifications, which may conclude before the elections. However, this case is regarded by many as the weakest of those filed against the former president.

Increasing Scrutiny and Legislative Reactions

The handling of Trump's cases has prompted proposals such as the Judiciary Act of 2023, which aims to expand the Supreme Court by four seats, reflecting the high stakes and intense scrutiny these proceedings have attracted.

As debates over judicial impartiality and the scope of presidential power continue, federal prosecutors challenge the validity of Trump’s defense under the Presidential Records Act in the classified documents case, arguing it does not exempt him from legal accountability.

Lawmakers and Experts Weigh in on Judicial Conduct

Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen criticized the notion of absolute presidential immunity, considering it outrageous if the court supports such a premise. Senator Tina Smith also lamented the protracted timeline of the court’s decision-making process, emphasizing the urgency and significance of a timely resolution.

Senator Mazie Hirono echoed these concerns, accusing Trump's legal team of strategically delaying legal proceedings and criticizing the apparent partiality in the judiciary. This sentiment is supported by constitutional scholar Michael Gerhardt, who was surprised by some justices' openness to broad immunity scenarios during oral arguments.

Final Thoughts on Judicial Independence and Impartiality

In conclusion, Democratic lawmakers continue to express serious concerns about the influence of conservative justices in Trump-related federal cases. With important decisions pending, the integrity of judicial proceedings remains a pivotal topic of national discourse, especially as the elections draw near. Lawmakers and legal experts alike call for fair, unbiased adjudication based on facts and legal precedents, reflecting the principles of justice and constitutional accountability.