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US Supreme Court upholds limited immunity for Trump, potentially delaying Jan 6 Capitol attack trial

The case, widely anticipated as one of the most significant this year, overturned a federal appeals court's February ruling that denied Trump immunity for alleged crimes aimed at overturning the 2020 election results.

The US Supreme Court on Monday ruled that former President Donald Trump can assert limited immunity from criminal prosecution for actions taken during the final days of his presidency. This ruling is expected to further postpone a trial regarding federal charges of election subversion against him, CNN reported.

The case, widely anticipated as one of the most significant this year, overturned a federal appeals court’s February ruling that denied Trump immunity for alleged crimes aimed at overturning the 2020 election results. Special counsel Jack Smith had strongly advocated for preventing Trump from delaying legal proceedings, a cornerstone of the former president’s legal defence strategy.

Trump, amidst multiple legal battles, while also positioning himself against President Joe Biden for a White House return, faced another setback in May when he became the first former US president convicted of a felony in a hush money trial, according to CNN.

Simultaneously, the Supreme Court is deliberating on cases about First Amendment rights and social media regulations.

Recent polling indicates widespread scepticism towards the Supreme Court’s handling of Trump’s immunity claims.

An AP-NORC poll released last week highlighted a significant lack of public confidence in the institution, with only 16 per cent expressing a great deal of trust in the Supreme Court. A substantial 44 per cent reported having only some confidence, while 40 per cent indicated having hardly any confidence at all. Democrats, in particular, displayed significant distrust, with 58 per cent stating they had hardly any confidence in the Supreme Court.

Regarding specific issues, approximately two-thirds of US adults expressed scepticism about the Court’s approach to presidential powers and immunity (66 per cent), as well as elections and voting matters (63 per cent). Similar levels of doubt were observed on other contentious issues such as abortion and gun policies, as reported by CNN.

A staggering 70 per cent of respondents believed that Supreme Court justices are inclined to shape laws according to their ideological leanings, while only 28 per cent believed they provide an impartial check on other branches of government, CNN reported.

In another survey conducted by Marquette Law School in May, public approval of the Supreme Court stood at a low 39 per cent, with 61 per cent disapproving of its performance. This dissatisfaction has persisted since the Court’s controversial 2022 Dobbs decision.

Public opinion remains sharply divided on the issue of presidential immunity from criminal prosecution. When asked specifically about Trump, 60 per cent of respondents opposed granting him immunity for official acts, compared to 30 per cent who supported it.

On the broader question of whether former presidents should enjoy immunity, 71 per cent believed they should not, with only 16 per cent in favour. Among Republicans specifically asked about Trump, a majority (61 per cent) supported immunity from criminal prosecution, CNN reported. (ANI)

(This news report is published from a syndicated feed. Except for the headline, the content has not been written or edited by OpIndia staff)

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