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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

What happens now that Trump has gone to the Supreme Court in his immunity fight

That could potentially delay things and create more uncertainty around an eventual trial date depending on how fast the court agrees to hear oral arguments and then issue a decision. 

Grant Trump’s request

The court could decide to resolve Trump’s request without oral arguments and just grant a delay.

If that happens, the court would put out a short written order saying it has granted Trump’s request. Usually, it would explain the circumstances under which the pause expires.

Normally such an order would be issued to give Trump time to file an appeal of the lower court ruling, which could take months to resolve.

There could be dissents if the court goes that route.

Reject Trump’s request

If the court decides to reject Trump’s request for a pause, the case goes back down to U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan to proceed to trial.

But the trial wouldn’t begin right away.

The judge would still need to take into account all of the time the case has been effectively on hold, since early December, and give both sides time to prepare for trial.

Even if the Supreme Court refuses to grant Trump’s request immediately and he goes to trial, he can still bring a challenge to his prosecution on presidential immunity at a later point.

Immediately rule against Trump

Some legal commentators have speculated that as it is such an unusual case with time of the essence that the court could make the rare move of simply issuing a ruling upholding the appeals court decision without hearing oral arguments or asking for any further briefing.

Such an outcome would be based on the theory that, even if the justices think the appeals court ruling was correct, the Supreme Court should weigh in on the legal question because of the nationwide importance.

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