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Eisen Critiques Slow Supreme Court Decision on Trump Immunity Claim

 June 16, 2024

In a pointed critique, CNN legal analyst Norm Eisen lambasted the allegedly slow pace at which the U.S. Supreme Court is deliberating on a key claim leveled by former President Donald Trump.

On Friday, in a live discussion on CNN’s Situation Room, Eisen criticized the high court for failing thus far to issue its decision on Trump's arguments concerning presidential immunity, as Breitbart reports.

Eisen emphasized his belief in the urgency of the situation, with the next Supreme Court decision date looming on the following Thursday.

This delay in resolving Trump's claim, which Eisen hyperbolically says suggests that a president could theoretically order assassinations of political opponents, has drawn significant attention and criticism.

The claim, which was first presented to the Court on Dec. 11, 2023, poses an extreme hypothetical, according to the CNN commentator. Could a sitting president order SEAL Team Six to assassinate political rivals? This question, according to Eisen, should not require months to resolve, yet, he laments, it remains undecided.

Eisen Highlights Ethical Concerns Within Supreme Court

Eisen has been vocal about the ethical implications of the delay. He specifically called this situation "the worst ethics crisis" the Court has faced. The involvement of conservative Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito in controversies related to other national issues adds layers to this ethical dilemma, he believes.

Thomas’s wife was a notable witness in the Jan. 6 investigation, which Eisen says could raise questions about his impartiality. Similarly, Alito has faced scrutiny for displaying flags at his home that bear what some allege are insurrectionist symbols.

The intertwining of personal and professional judgments in these justices' lives brings a heightened level of scrutiny and concern about the ethical standards at the nation’s highest court.

Blitzer, Eisen Discuss Implications of Delays

During the CNN segment, host Wolf Blitzer pointed out what could be the significant impact of the Court's procrastination. "Norm, it’s interesting that the court isn’t scheduled to issue more decisions until Thursday, further delaying any resolution to Trump’s immunity claim. At what point does holding that trial before the election become totally unrealistic," Blitzer queried.

Eisen responded with concern, highlighting the potential risks of such a prolonged delay. "Well, Wolf, we’re on the brink of that," he stated, indicating that the timing is increasingly likely to affect the trial's scheduling and public perception of the judiciary's efficiency.

"This question of whether the immunity that Donald Trump asserts -- even to send SEAL Team Six to assassinate his political rivals was first placed before the Supreme Court on December 11, 2023. There’s no call to take six months to decide the absurdity of that question. And with every passing day, they’re more responsible for the problem you identify of getting this trial on the books," Eisen elaborated.

The Long Road to a Supreme Court Decision

The drawn-out deliberation process is unusual for the Supreme Court, Eisen contended, with the panel typically handling issues of national significance with more expedience.

Eisen’s critique brings to light the potential implications of this delay, not just for Trump’s case but for the overall integrity of the judicial system.

The commentator's remarks reflect a broader concern among some about how justice is administered in high-profile cases. The delay could be seen as diminishing the Court's role in swiftly addressing significant constitutional questions.

As the nation awaits the Court's decision, the discussion around these delays and their ethical implications continues to stir public and legal debate.


In summary, the slow deliberation over Donald Trump’s immunity claim by the U.S. Supreme Court has sparked intense discussion and criticism, particularly focusing on the ethical implications involving Justices Thomas and Alito.

With a looming decision date and ongoing controversies, the integrity of the Court’s ethical standards remains under intense scrutiny.

Norm Eisen’s critical perspective underscores the urgency and significance of these proceedings in shaping public trust in the judiciary.