Apparently stall tactics are all the rage amid a political judiciary that is collapsing from a quickly metastasizing cancer inside the third branch of government.
Today the Supreme court blocked in part, and punted in part, on three cases related to the resistance effort to gain the private financial records of President Trump. The bottom line is that none of the decisions today will likely be resolved before the November election.
♦ In the Trump -v- Vance case, a subpoena by a Manhattan district attorney, the justices (by a vote of 7-2) rejected the president’s claim that he is immune from state grand jury proceedings while he is in office. However, the decision in that case does not mean financial records the grand jury seeks will be turned over. As Amy Howe notes: “the court sent the case back to the trial court and agreed that the president could still argue that complying with this subpoena would interfere with his ability to do his job.”
This was the case outcome that likely frustrated President Trump the most because it forces him to continue fighting, and spending, against Lawfare resistance activists in state courts as accusations are brought by politically motivated state prosecutors.
♦ In the Trump -v- Mazars case, which is a combination of two rolled-up cases combining different legislative efforts (congressional subpoenas) to gain Trump’s financial records, the justices (again 7-2) sent the combined cases back to lower courts after highlighting that legislative subpoenas must be made for a “valid legislative purpose” not for law enforcement. This aspect is based on the clear separation of powers in the constitution.
We anticipated this ruling in the Trump -v- Mazars case because it was clear the efforts of the House were fishing expeditions. Despite initiating an impeachment effort in order to bolster their attempt; and then attempting to backdoor the congressional subpoenas under the guise of the impeachment effort; the Supreme Court rejected that approach.
SCOTUS BLOG – […] Having found both sides’ proposed tests wanting, Roberts outlined a middle ground for the lower courts in these cases, as well as other courts going forward, to follow. Courts, Roberts instructed, should “perform a careful analysis that takes adequate account of the separation of powers principles at stake, including both the significant legislative interests of Congress and the ‘unique position’ of the President.”
Among other things, courts should consider whether the president’s papers are really necessary (because the information cannot be obtained elsewhere); whether the subpoena is as limited in scope as it can be while still serving Congress’ purpose; what evidence Congress has offered to “establish that a subpoena advances a valid legislative purpose”; and what burdens a subpoena imposes on the president. Because the lower courts did not adequately consider these “special concerns,” Roberts explained, the cases will now return to those courts for additional proceedings. (more)
Trump -v- Vance (Manhattan case) decision:
Trump -v- Mazars (legislative case) decision: