Explore

Search
Close this search box.

Search

Tuesday, July 16, 2024, 11:30 am

Tuesday, July 16, 2024, 11:30 am

Search
Close this search box.
LATEST NEWS
Lifestyle

Preventing Presidents from facing criminal charges undermines the rule of law.

Presidents
Share This Post

The US Supreme Court’s decision to provide the President immunity from criminal prosecution calls into doubt the country’s commitment to the rule of law. The court, dominated by conservative justices, ruled in favour of presidential immunity by a 6:3 majority, citing the separation of powers and the necessity to protect the President from future prosecutions, rather than the wording of the U.S. Constitution. The verdict does not determine if former President Donald J. Trump will be granted immunity from prosecution for allegedly interfering with the November 2020 presidential election, which he lost to Joe Biden.

The law establishes a criteria for prosecuting a President to determine if the alleged act was a fundamental constitutional responsibility or an official or unofficial act. The President has total immunity for fundamental constitutional tasks, presumptive immunity for other official activities (until proven otherwise), and no immunity for unofficial or private acts.
Prosecution of official acts is only permitted provided it does not interfere with the executive’s jurisdiction and authority.

The majority has remanded concerns in Mr. Trump’s prosecution for attempting to influence the electoral outcome, culminating in the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol, to the trial court for review based on this finding. The contrasting viewpoints challenge the notion that a President’s immunity from criminal punishment allows for unwavering and courageous behaviour.
While it is legitimate to argue that the President should be free from intrusive probes and fear of petty punishment, it is unfathomable that such a powerful office would come with little accountability and the freedom to break criminal laws.

Critics warn that the ruling poses a significant threat to democracy. The dissenter questions whether a President can accept a bribe in exchange for a pardon or approve the death of a rival. The majority supports protecting the Presidency from criminal prosecution, but fails to recognise that Mr. Trump’s conduct may have been detrimental to his successor’s presidency. The ruling authorises the use of the presidency as a shield in election-related concerns, despite the potential that he was acting as a candidate or party leader in some cases.

ABHISHEK VERMA


Share This Post

Leave a Comment