So Long, America–It Was Nice Knowing You…

The New York Times summarized the rogue Supreme Court’s immunity ruling in a sentence: “the Supreme Court has extended sweeping legal protections to presidents that apply to no one else in the country.”

In other words, in the most recent of a string of appalling and unprecedented rulings, this disgraceful Court has eviscerated the essence of the rule of law: that no one is above the law. Sources close to the Rightwing extremists behind Project 2025 immediately began planning how to use the Court’s decision to help them implement their unAmerican policy agenda, and Trump immediately called for jailing his political opponents.

The Court has demonstrated the naiveté of those Republican voters who justified sticking with Trump because “there are guardrails–laws that will keep him from doing the craziest shit.” Not anymore, there aren’t.

Toto, we aren’t in Kansas anymore.

I have never been so afraid for my country. Lest you think I am over-reacting, I will turn the rest of this post over to the considered reactions of people I respect.

There were the pundits, of course, many of whom bring solid legal credentials to the discussion. I can sum up their reactions by citing to Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus, whose opinion piece was titled “God Save Us from this Dishonorable Court” and was subtitled “An egregious, unconscionable ruling on presidential immunity from the Supreme Court.”

But the most incisive and horrified analyses came from the scholars. 

Historian Heather Cox Richardson wrote:

This is a profound change to our fundamental law—an amendment to the Constitution, as historian David Blight noted. Writing for the majority, Chief Justice John Roberts said that a president needs such immunity to make sure the president is willing to take “bold and unhesitating action” and make unpopular decisions, although no previous president has ever asserted that he is above the law or that he needed such immunity to fulfill his role. Roberts’s decision didn’t focus at all on the interest of the American people in guaranteeing that presidents carry out their duties within the guardrails of the law….

There is no historical or legal precedent for this decision. The Declaration of Independence was a litany of complaints against King George III designed to explain why the colonists were declaring themselves free of kings; the Constitution did not provide immunity for the president, although it did for members of Congress in certain conditions, and it provided for the removal of the president for “high crimes and misdemeanors”—what would those be if a president is immune from prosecution for his official acts? The framers worried about politicians’ overreach and carefully provided for oversight of leaders; the Supreme Court today smashed through that key guardrail…

Today, observers illustrated what Trump’s newly declared immunity could mean. Political scientist Norm Ornstein pointed out that Trump could “order his handpicked FBI Director to arrest and jail his political opponents. He can order the IRS to put liens on the property of media companies who criticize him and jail reporters and editors.” Legal analyst Joyce White Vance noted that a president with such broad immunity could order the assassination of Supreme Court justices, and retired military leader Mark Hertling wrote that he was “trying to figure out how a commander can refuse an illegal order from someone who is issuing it as an official act.” 

Lawyer and legal scholar Robert Hubbell minced no words:

Today, the Supreme Court overthrew the American Revolution and anointed the US president as a modern-day king. Their betrayal of the American revolutionaries, Founders, and Framers is all the worse because they did so to promote the most corrupt, dangerous, depraved person to disgrace the office of the presidency…

Trump v. United States will be overruled. The decision is so bad it will not stand. Like Dred Scott (holding that enslaved people are not citizens entitled to judicial protections), Plessy v. Ferguson (upholding segregation), Koramatsu v US (upholding the Japanese internment camps), today’s decision will be overturned by the acclamation of history in due course. It will be remembered as a mark of shame for the Roberts Court just as Dred Scott tarnishes Chief Justice Taney’s legacy to this day.

It may take a few years or decades to overturn Trump v. US, but the American people are the ultimate power under the Constitution. Majorities in the House and Senate can pass a bill to expand the Supreme Court, and a Democratic president can sign it. The reactionary majority can be overwhelmed by the appointment of four new justices, although expanding the Court by eight or more would be appropriate given the nearly hundred-fold growth in the US population since six justices were appointed in 1789.

The problem is, if Donald Trump wins in November–or if MAGA neo-fascists control either the House or Senate– there won’t be a United States in which the judicial process can self-correct. 

America as we’ve known it will be gone.


  1. The Court has demonstrated the naiveté of those Republican voters who justified sticking with Trump because “there are guardrails–laws that will keep him from doing the craziest shit.”

    This is what they thought about Hitler when he was appointed Chancellor. He was, of course, defeated, but only after a catastrophic war. Wake up! This is our last chance!

  2. I keep looking, but I have yet to find anyone speaking in defense of this ruling.

    Where are the advocates? Where are the op-eds praising the court?

    This silence does not bode well.

  3. “I have never been so afraid for my country.” Sheila; I am also deeply afraid OF my country.

    On my daily walks with my 4-wheeled walker yesterday I wore the gift tee shirt from my son a few years ago. Black with huge white letters FUCK TRUMP; few people walking and I got no response so took myself and my shirt to the nearby strip mall where people just looked at me and walked on by except one Black woman who responded positively and we shared a laugh. Trump is just accepted as the norm; pro or con, to get no reaction to probably the one remaining offensive word in the English language is probably because the Trumpers feel secure in their leading position and feel assured of their future.

    I received a Facebook post this morning reminding us of 1933 when Germany posted the Enabler Law allowing Hitler full control over all people in Germany and he expanded it to surrounding nations.


  4. This court is filled with Republican-appointed moles from the Federalist Society. They have been waiting for a moment like this to give their Koch-sponsored financiers their wettest of dreams: A complete, fascist takeover of the government of the United States. And, in keeping with the quality and moral fiber of this ilk, they’ve bent over double to make Donald Trump their hero. Let that sink in.

    What’s most befuddling is that so many American citizens are enthralled by the prospect of having their rights removed, their hard-earned unions disbanded and maybe even their favorite elected official jailed because he disagreed with the most egregious human being this country has ever produced. How on earth to these lip-strummers – some of which “contribute” to this blog – justify their allegiance not only to Trump but to Republicans WHO HAVE NO AGENDA FOR SERVING THE PEOPLE, by the way.

    It’s times like these that I wished I had the courage to head to Canada and live with my relatives there in 1965. Now that I’m old and “experienced”, my heart is broken at what’s become of my country.

    Paraphrasing Rick Wilson: Everything Republicans (and Trump) touch dies. Now, they’re killing our democratic republic and 70 million idiots are cheering them on. I guess 240+ years is too much to expect for democracy.

  5. Trump ain’t POTUS yet, so why doesn’t JB take advantage of his new powers and send DT to prison? Let the courts wrestle with his abuse of power.

    A “new poll” out today on Reuters claims JB has pulled the race 50-50 after his debate performance. Does anybody in the world believe that JB’s performance was strong? LOL I would call those sympathy votes. LOL

    DT’s MAGA fans are so far in the right field that they have a completely different narrative of reality. They are also short-sighted, as is DT. What’s to keep the next elected Democrat from abusing this law? If the POTUS is immune to prosecution, they could order the assassination of anyone with consequences.

    I can’t imagine Congress wanting this law to stand because the pendulum swings both ways. Just ask Rishi Sunak or Emmanuel Macron. 🙂

  6. There’s no way that this decision would have happened, if the court weren’t sure that Biden wouldn’t take advantage of the opportunity. Maybe he should pardon Hunter, just to make a point.

  7. Todd:
    great idea, jail DT. but thats what were fighting against. political assaination via courts and law that will be made a mockery of.
    the Military courts, are immune in ways that they can, disregard presidential orders if its does not protect the constitution.( in todays NPR story with the lawyer who agruged for trump immunity. )I can recognize the oath, as i will always defend the constitution over the unlawful order to disregard the constitution and its meaning. the check and balances are there, and trump will be hard pressed to get around them as long as we have a military that will defend the constitution over a luntic and his mob of power mongers.
    we have given to much power to these fringe eliments of money and greed. we now see now what the intent is,and who will be the pawns of this greed.
    the working class is divided like never before, the biggest block of voters who
    look at their own personal whatevers over the sanctuary of our nation. those personal whatevers were granted by the constitution, now they ignore it over
    trivial crap and a right wing paid for propaganda machine,we will pay for this. right wing news, the one source we need to seriously demean and send to a trash heap. if the laws cant protect us against the menace of propaganda, propaganda should be outlawed. its not free speach, its a menace to the very existance of our democracy. Germany has upheld its laws against nazi culture in any form.
    we should be the bearer of such a law. otherwise 1932 is just a few months away..

  8. JoAnn:
    Bravo! i post a North Dakota lic plate , larger than the real one. when i park in a truck stop its put in my front window, it says, FKTRUMP. the trumpers, via poll, 85% of truckers support this menace. no one has confronted me yet.
    but like you said, the black people love it..
    best wishes way to go..

  9. Akhil Reed Amar (Constitutional scholar and Yale Law professor) is blunt about it: “The Court’s curious and convoluted majority opinion turns the Constitution’s text and structure inside out and upside down, saying things that are flatly contradicted by the document’s unambiguous letter and obvious spirit. . . . Essentially, the​ Court ​in Trump v. United States ​is declaring the Constitution itself unconstitutional​.​​ Instead of properly starting with the Constitution’s text and structure, the ​​Court has ended up repealing them​​.” He uses a simple example to illustrate his point: a president accepts a bribe (one of the specific transgressions for which a president can be impeached and later convicted of in criminal court) to issue a pardon (one of the official acts authorized). Even if criminal charges were pursued, the Roberts decision would not allow consideration or evidence of motive (necessary to establish that the official act was done for the money). “No one is above the law” is no more.

    Here is a link to the article:

  10. And the source of all this is January 6th. For those who like irony, think about the multi-billion dollar memorial in New York and others. There is no memorial to 1/6. Congress finally agreed to a small plaque in the Capitol to honor the capital police who were killed. It was supposed to be already in place. It has been “delayed” multiple times. Maybe the results this November will be the memorial for that day, and our democracy.

  11. To quote a Stalin saying in another context, “How many divisions does the Pope have?” Does the Supreme Court have the authority to reverse this country’s constitutional democracy and install instead a replica of King George III’s colony-bashing ism? What we have fouht and died for over the years is not now up for grabs and never was, especially when a Leo court proposes to arm a raving coup-mongering lunatic with powers that are clearly unconstitutional. To do: Ignore the exercise of unconstitutional powers by the court. We are bound by the Constitution and its history and not its interpretation by a rogue court that is itself plainly unconstitutional.

  12. Organizing and conducting an election for a general population of 66M (UK) and for 350M (US) are quite different things. India’s recent elections took several weeks for 1.4B general population.
    The fact remains that the partisan SCOTUS has appointed themselves the “deciders” of all things executive. They are the kings. We all know what eventually happens to all kings. They get deposed one way or another. It cannot happen soon enough. Alito and Thomas should be impeached for corruption. The sooner the better.

  13. This falls right in line with the Supreme Court ruling that says that gifts given after the fact aren’t bribes. This is the court where the conservative members of the court have taken $4+ million in “gifts” ruling that “gifts” aren’t bribes. It’s interesting to note the case that produced this specifically worded ruling, the money that changed hands was a consulting fee and NOT a “gift”.

  14. Even without this outrageous garbage decision from SCOTUS, if tfg were to win in November, you could kiss much of what you believed was inherent in our Democracy goodbye. If he were to win, or perish the thought, does win, he will not do so alone. His rancid coattails would/will bring to power a congress, both houses thereof, that would allow him to do virtually anything he wanted, and then some. “Project 25” would become the law of the land, and he’d probably have at least one more SCOTUS asswipe to add to the stinking pile of liars!
    We might just see a Stephen Miller as a cabinet member, sitting next to Bannon-thing, in a sad and dangerous parody of Hitler’s “cabinet.”

  15. From HCR, today, quoting Thomas Paine: ““A government of our own is our natural right: And when a man seriously reflects on the precariousness of human affairs, he will become convinced, that it is infinitely wiser and safer, to form a constitution of our own in a cool deliberate manner, while we have it in our power, than to trust such an interesting event to time and chance. If we omit it now, some [dictator] may hereafter arise, who laying hold of popular disquietudes, may collect together the desperate and the discontented, and by assuming to themselves the powers of government, may sweep away the liberties of the continent like a deluge.”
    Well, we now know the name of that would be dictator!

  16. Re the comment that a President can order the assassination of supreme court justices – now would be a perfect time for Biden to do just that. He could claim it is an official act of his office in order to save our country.
    The House and Senate need to pass a bill to immediately expand the court so that the rogue anti-American rabid right wing justices won’t be able to rule in favor of further damage to this country.

  17. Um,
    No one has to assassinate anyone! All the party that holds the executive branch has to do, and the president of that party, declare martial law! Simple! An infant could see that solution, and it’s legal, and, nobody gets assassinated, they can just be jailed or kicked out. The supreme Court can be disbanded, the entire court system would be run like a military tribunal. The Congress is disbanded, regional governors would be appointed. In previous declarations of martial law by the executive branch, pretty much, that’s what happened in action if not in name. And like I said, if this party in charge today doesn’t do it, the party that’s in charge next year will if it’s different than today. When you’re in a fight for existence, you want to beat your opponent to the punch! You really don’t want to stick your chin out and tell him to take his best shot. But, that’s exactly what this particular government is doing today. Sticking its chin out waiting for the knockout blow. Once everything is sorted, The law could be changed to One person, one vote! Majority rules! Roll back citizens United, so that’s off the books, and then get the best intellectuals to rewrite or write a constitution. Then, just like your dad or grandfather or mother held the back of your bike when you were trying to ride, you take the training wheels off, And you have true freedom blowing through your hair proud of yourself that you’re riding without restraint.

  18. Technology (click-driven news) has figured us out.
    Think Hari Seldon of The Foundation.
    Trump is The Mule.

  19. The states must not cower before this ruling. It does not and cannot apply to felonies proven under state jurisdictions. First, Cabinet and Congress would have to recognize the conviction and imprisonment as disability to serve under terms of the 25th Amendment. Or if these bodies did. There is no part of Article III that empowers federal courts to issue valid writ of habeas corpus just because a federal official is imprisoned by a state as a result of a state felony conviction. Re: Several Congress members, members.of the executive branch, the federal judicial system itself. If he is imprisoned by New York and the state’s lawyers do not wilt under professional intimidation. Then the term is served as POTUS from a prison.cell. Or he is disasdbled from serving for the duration of his sentence. Someone somewhere who practices law has to show courage. By crossing the Rubicon that defends tyrannical court imposition of injustice. And imprisoning then felon regardless of office or stature. Citing the 10th amendment’s empowerment of states to

  20. President Biden could, as an “Official Act” ADD 4 MORE Supreme court justices, impose term limits, and set an enforceable Code of Ethics for Supreme court justices. By their ruling, the president would be well within his powers to NULLIFY THEIR ARROGANT DECISION to create a dictatorship of the executive office.

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