Supreme Court Grants Ex-Presidents Limited Immunity from Prosecution in Landmark Ruling

The Supreme Court, in a 6-3 decision, recognized for the first time that ex-presidents have immunity from prosecution for certain actions taken in office.

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The Supreme Court opinion in former President Donald Trump's immunity case is photographed Monday, July 1, 2024. In a historic ruling the justices said for the first time former presidents can be shielded from prosecution for at least some of what they do in the Oval Office. (AP Photo/Jon Elswick)
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The U.S. Supreme Court, in a landmark 6-3 decision, recognized for the first time that ex-presidents have immunity from prosecution for certain actions taken in office, as it dismissed a lower court’s ruling that had denied Donald Trump’s attempt to shield himself from criminal charges related to his efforts to reverse his 2020 election defeat.

The court clarified that while former presidents are protected for actions within their constitutional authority, they are not immune for actions taken in a private capacity.

This ruling marks the first instance since the nation’s founding in the 18th century that the Supreme Court has declared that former presidents may be immune from criminal charges in specific circumstances.


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