U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, who recently ruled that former President Trump is not immune from prosecution in his election interference case in Washington D.C., appears to be strategically engaging with the Supreme Court.
Chutkan’s decision is seen as a deliberate effort to present a compelling argument to the highest court, emphasizing the importance of each branch’s ability to perform its functions while respecting the separation of powers, told The Guardian.
During an appearance on “The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell,” former federal prosecutor Joyce Vance discussed Chutkan’s approach, noting that the judge is conscious of the historical context and the unprecedented nature of the allegations against Trump.
Chutkan’s opinion counters Trump’s argument that the lack of criminal prosecution of former Presidents makes it unconstitutional to start now. Chutkan’s opinion asserts that former Presidents do not enjoy special conditions regarding federal criminal liability and that Trump, even as a former commander-in-chief, is susceptible to federal investigation, indictment, prosecution, conviction, and punishment for any criminal acts during his time in office.
Vance emphasized the gravity of Chutkan’s decision and the potential impact on preserving democracy. Chutkan seems aware that her ruling is likely to be appealed to the Supreme Court and is effectively telling the court that reversing her decision could impair essential functions of the government. By referencing American history and tradition, Chutkan aims to provide a strong foundation for her legal reasoning in anticipation of the case’s journey to the Supreme Court.