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Justice

Donald Trump, Supreme Court
Photo credit: Illustration by WhoWhatWhy from Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED) and Supreme Court / Wikimedia.

Donald Trump wants the Supreme Court to bail him out once again and overturn his recent felony conviction.

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Donald Trump sure talks a lot about the weaponization and politicization of the US justice system. While he usually sees himself as the victim, the self-proclaimed “stable genius” has now come up with an outside-the-box plan to bypass the regular appeals process to overturn his felony conviction: “The United States Supreme Court MUST DECIDE!”

In a ranting post on his Truth Social platform, the former president did not explain what, exactly, he wants the Supreme Court to do (and when), and why he should be treated differently from any other adjudicated felon.

All that was clear is that Trump isn’t happy.

“The ‘Sentencing’ for not having done anything wrong will be, conveniently for the Fascists, 4 days before the Republican National Convention,” Trump wrote late on Sunday, referring to the sentencing hearing, which is scheduled for July 11. “A Radical Left Soros backed D.A., who ran on a platform of ‘I will get Trump,’ reporting to an ‘Acting’ Local Judge, appointed by the Democrats, who is HIGHLY CONFLICTED, will make a decision which will determine the future of our Nation? The United States Supreme Court MUST DECIDE!”

There is quite a bit to unravel here, so let’s start at the beginning.

As for the timing of the sentencing hearing, it was Trump’s lawyer Todd Blanche who requested a date in mid-to-late July.

In addition, the former president’s legal team could ask for a delay, which is usually Trump’s favorite strategy to escape accountability. His other three criminal trials have all been pushed back following a myriad of motions, and it seems likely that none of them will be adjudicated by the election.

However, now that he has been convicted of 34 felonies for falsifying business documents to keep a hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels a secret prior to the 2016 election, he seems to have developed a need for speed. Therefore, it seems unlikely that his lawyers will try to push back the sentencing date past the Republican National Convention.

Apart from his usual ranting and raving about how everything is unfair, he suggests that the Supreme Court should decide his fate.

Obviously, that’s not how the American judicial system works, but it makes sense that Trump wants to get the high court involved because he appointed three of the nine justices. In addition, he knows that he can count on Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito to rule in his favor on just about any issues.

Both have been asked to recuse themselves from proceedings related to the January 6 insurrection because (at least) their spouses seem to have been so sympathetic to Trump’s cause. However, both ethically challenged right-wing justices have refused to do so.

Theoretically, at some point, the Supreme Court may play a role in any appeal if it relates to violations of the Constitution or other federal law, but experts believe that would be a stretch (not that Alito and Thomas would need much more than a straw to grasp on behalf of the former president).

In any case, the regular appeals process would first have to play out, and that will be a slog through New York’s courts.

Following sentencing, Trump can file a notice to appeal to take his case to the New York State’s Appellate Division, which likely will already take many months.

Once that court decides, either the former president or the prosecutor can then ask the New York Court of Appeals to review that court’s decision.

So, unless someone, somewhere actually does subvert the regular process, which could rightly be called a weaponization of the justice system, Trump will just have to wait a bit.

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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