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Justice

Donald Trump, legal problems
Former President Donald Trump. Photo credit: Gage Skidmore / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED)

In the coming months, it is likely the Supreme Court will get the final say on a range of issues crucial to Trump’s political and personal future; the former president is starting to seem worried that things may not go his way after all.

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Donald Trump isn’t known for being overly subtle… even when he thinks he is. A great example is a message to the Supreme Court that he posted on his Truth Social website. In it, he pretty overtly lobbies the conservative justices on the court to rule his way when given the opportunity. 

Here is the post in its entirety:

Republican Judges are very often afraid to do the right thing. They go out of their way to show they are totally impartial, to the point of making really bad and unfair decisions. Their counterparts, Judges appointed by Democrats, like Biden or Obama, laugh at the stupidity of it all. They go out of their way to follow the party line, they don’t give the opposition a chance. Such a difference — It is so SAD to see.

If you speak Trump, you recognize that this is his way of trying to influence the Supreme Court to rule his way. 

Now you may be asking yourself how we can be sure that this post is specifically aimed at the six justices on the high court who were appointed by Republican presidents (including the three nominated by Trump).

First of all, which other GOP-appointed judges could he be talking about?

The post is certainly not a reference to US District Judge Aileen Cannon, the Trump-appointee who is presiding over the former president’s stolen documents and obstruction of justice case in Florida. She has done her best to rule in his favor whenever there was a chance to. 

Trump likely also isn’t trying to send hints to Georgia Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee, who is overseeing the Peach State’s coup trial against the former president and a bunch of co-conspirators. He was appointed by Brian Kemp, but the Republican governor and Trump aren’t exactly the best of friends, to put it mildly. In fact, Kemp testified before the grand jury that ultimately decided to indict the former president. 

It is also important to know that Trump has a very transactional way of thinking. He believes that if he did something for a person, he is owed that individual’s undying loyalty. And what greater favor can you do for a judge than to appoint him or her to the Supreme Court?

However, what makes the target of his clumsy attempt at manipulation most obvious is the outsize importance that the high court will play this year. 

In the coming months, it seems likely that it will get the final say on a range of issues crucial to Trump’s political and personal future, e.g., whether he will appear on the ballots of all states, the timing of his criminal trials, and (possibly) whether he goes to prison. 

Saturday’s post shows that the former president is worried that things may not go his way after all. He should be. 

Even though conservative justices hold a 6-3 edge over their liberal counterparts, it is far from certain that they will rule Trump’s way. Maybe he can count on Clarence Thomas’s vote and that of Samuel Alito, but the majorities in these cases are not clear-cut. 

A lot is on the line… not just for the former president but also the Supreme Court itself. 

While it has made some controversial rulings, there is a good chance that this court will be defined by its decisions in Trump’s cases. If it routinely rules in favor of the former president, those decisions will invariably be tainted as political and not based on the law. 

It is also possible (though unlikely) that some of the Trump-appointed justices could recuse themselves. 

It’s tough to predict how the court will rule, but chances are that some of the upcoming decisions will go against the former president, such as his silly “immunity” argument that his lawyers presented to a federal court this week.

Therefore, Trump ought to be worried. Maybe he read our story from yesterday reporting that, while Americans generally believe that Supreme Court justices often make their decisions based on their personal political beliefs, in the case of whether the former president can be kicked off state ballots, they believe a final ruling will be based on the law.

And that is bad news for Trump. 

Author

  • Klaus Marre

    Klaus Marre is a writer, editor, former congressional reporter, and director of the WhoWhatWhy Mentor Apprentice Program. Follow him on Twitter @KlausMarre.

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