Supreme Court will take up Trump's immunity claim

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STORY: The Supreme Court agreed to hear former President Donald Trump’s claims of presidential immunity from prosecution for trying to overturn his 2020 election loss.

That decision Wednesday will further delay Trump’s criminal prosecutions, potentially giving him a boost as he runs to regain the presidency, and thrusting the nation’s top judicial body with a 6-3 conservative majority and three Trump-appointed justices, into the election fray.

The justices will freeze the election subversion case being pursued by Special Counsel Jack Smith that trial won’t start on March 4, and there’s no new trial date.

Trump claims he is immune to prosecution because he was president when he took actions aimed at reversing President Joe Biden’s election victory over him.

The Supreme Court will review a lower court’s rejection of Trump’s claim of immunity from prosecution and scheduled the case for the week of April 22, where they’ll focus on one question:

"Whether and if so to what extent does a former president enjoy presidential immunity from criminal prosecution for conduct alleged to involve official acts during his tenure in office."

Trump on social media hailed the Supreme Court's decision to hear his immunity claim.

He wrote:

"Without Presidential Immunity, a President will not be able to properly function, or make decisions, in the best interest of the United States of America.”

On February 6 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled against Trump’s immunity claim. The three-judge panel wrote it could not accept that “the office of the presidency places its former occupants above the law for all time thereafter”.

Trump supporters attacked the Capitol in January 2021, aiming to prevent Biden from being certified.

That’s after Trump and his allies made false claims that the 2020 election was stolen and devised a plan to use false electors to thwart Biden’s victory.

If Trump regains the presidency, he could seek to use his powers to force an end to the prosecution or potentially pardon himself for any federal crimes.

Also on Wednesday, an Illinois judge stripped Trump from the state’s Republican presidential primary ballot.... siding with voters who argued that the former president defied the anti-insurrection clause of the Constitution’s 14th amendment.

She delayed her ruling from taking effect in light of an expected appeal by Trump.

The Supreme Court is soon expected to rule on a separate but similar case that also puts it in the election spotlight, over the former president’s eligibility to be on the ballot in Colorado – having heard arguments earlier in February.