Does Immunity Love Company?

Does Immunity Love Company?

One of the nation's foremost experts explains how the Supreme Court's outrageous decision protecting Donald Trump from criminal trial will change the presidency, and what can be done about it.

Just days after the first presidential debate, which has plunged Democrats into a crisis of confidence, the Supreme Court has intervened to declare that presidents have absolute immunity from criminal prosecutions for any actions they take with their exclusive and plenary powers, and even presumptive immunity for their other official acts.

We’d viewed this case mainly with an eye to its impact on the criminal prosecution of Donald Trump for trying to overturn the 2020 election. But that’s only because we (like most people) imagined the Supreme Court might delay the trial without radically altering the balance of power between the branches. They instead went much, much further.

With Matt on vacation, Brian welcomes former Solicitor General Don Verrilli as this week’s special guest. Brian and Don discuss:

  • How the court’s ruling creates two sets of rules: One for law-abiding presidents and one for Donald Trump and his imitators;

  • Whether and how Joe Biden can use this new ruling for good;

  • What if anything Congress can do about it short of amending the constitution or packing the Supreme Court.

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Politix is a weekly podcast about the 2024 election from Brian Beutler, Matthew Yglesias, and some occasional guests. We’ll have some good-faith disagreement, some points of consensus, and an overall effort to focus on what’s really at stake in November. Subscribe for new episodes each Wednesday and listen wherever you get your podcasts.