Skip Navigation
Breaking News
Breaking News
from Washington and beyond

Sotomayor Slams Supreme Court Immunity Ruling in Terrifying Dissent

The three liberal Supreme Court justices, led by Sonia Sotomayor, warn democracy is at risk after the Supreme Court’s Trump presidential immunity case.

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor speaks
Jacquelyn Martin/Pool/Getty Images

In a devastating 6–3 decision issued Monday, the conservative supermajority of the Supreme Court did what it was installed by Trump to do and twisted the Constitution to shield Trump from criminal liability for crimes he committed in office. The case was brought to the Supreme Court by Trump in an attempt to evade prosecution for his alleged attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

The decision effectively gives a green light to all future presidents to commit as many crimes as they want while in office. As Justice Sonia Sotomayor put it, “the President is now a king above the law.”

Sotomayor led in the chilling dissent, joined by liberal justices Elena Kagan and Ketanji Brown Jackson. Sotomayor’s dissent is charged with fierce criticisms of the decision, noting that the conservative majority “invents an atextual, ahistorical, and unjustifiable immunity that puts the President above the law” and “makes a mockery of the principle, foundational to our Constitution and system of Government, that no man is above the law.

Sotomayor shredded the conservative decision by examining the intentions laid out by the Founding Fathers in contrast to the current ambitions of Trump and the justices aligned with him—a seemingly originalist examination refuting the conservative justices’ recent trend of augmenting the law to come to a politically advantageous decision.

“Relying on little more than its own misguided wisdom about the need for ‘bold and unhesitating action’ by the President, the Court gives former President Trump all the immunity he asked for and more.”

“The President of the United States is the most powerful person in the country, and possibly the world,” Sotomayor wrote. “When he uses his official powers in any way, under the majority’s reasoning, he now will be insulated from criminal prosecution. Orders the Navy’s Seal Team 6 to assassinate a political rival? Immune. Organizes a military coup to hold onto power? Immune. Takes a bribe in exchange for a pardon? Immune. Immune, immune, immune.”

“Let the President violate the law, let him exploit the trappings of his office for personal gain, let him use his official power for evil ends. Because if he knew that he may one day face liability for breaking the law, he might not be as bold and fearless as we would like him to be. That is the majority’s message today. Even if these nightmare scenarios never play out, and I pray they never do, the damage has been done.”

Sotomayor’s dissent cast dark clouds over the fate of the country, writing, “The relationship between the President and the people he serves has shifted irrevocably. In every use of official power, the President is now a king above the law.”

“Never in the history of our Republic has a President had reason to believe that he would be immune from criminal prosecution if he used the trappings of his office to violate the criminal law,” wrote Sotomayor. “Moving forward, however, all former Presidents will be cloaked in such immunity. If the occupant of that office misuses official power for personal gain, the criminal law that the rest of us must abide will not provide a backstop,” she added.

“With fear for our democracy, I dissent,” Sotomayor concluded.

Ketanji Brown Jackson Blasts Supreme Court Ruling That “Wreaks Havoc”

The Supreme Court justice ripped her conservative colleagues’ “flawed” decision to kneecap the federal government.

Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson looks forward
Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc/Getty Images

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson railed Monday against the decision in Corner Post, Inc. v. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, arguing in her dissent that the “flawed reasoning and far-reaching results” of the majority opinion “[wreak] havoc on Government agencies, businesses, and society at large.”

In a 6–3 ruling along ideological lines, the court decided that the clock on a statute of limitations for complaints against an agency regulation doesn’t begin when the regulation is put in place, but when the plaintiff is injured. The majority opinion was delivered by Justice Amy Coney Barrett, with all three liberal justices dissenting.

In her dissent, Jackson explained that this decision makes way for a torrent of litigation challenging long-settled statutes, in what could potentially be a massively destabilizing ruling against the federal government.

“After today, even the most well-settled agency regulations can be placed on the chopping block,” she wrote.

Under the new doctrine, for a regulation to be challenged, all one needs to do is create a new entity that is “injured” by the regulation. The plaintiff then has six years to pursue a legal challenge against the supposedly injurious rule. As easily as a new entity can form, a new challenge can be levied, culminating in a torrent of litigation that could overwhelm federal capacities, handing over all power to the judiciary.

“Any established government regulation about any issue—say, workplace safety, toxic waste, or consumer protection—can now be attacked by any new regulated entity within six years of the entity’s formation. A brand new entity could pop up and challenge a regulation that is decades old; perhaps even one that is as old as the APA itself,” Jackson wrote, referencing the Administrative Procedure Act, which was passed in 1946. “No matter how entrenched, heavily relied upon, or central to the functioning of our society a rule is, the majority has announced open season.”

While some agency actions rely on more specific statute of limitations rules, which could potentially shield them from the court’s ruling, it’s also likely that plaintiffs will be able to seek out far-right district court judges who will be more likely to rule in their favor against federal agencies.

In explaining the ramifications of the majority decision, Jackson referred to Friday’s decision obliterating the Chevron deference, severely undermining administrative law by requiring that challenges to ambiguous doctrine in agency statutes be heard in court.

“Seeking to minimize the fully foreseeable and potentially devastating impact of its ruling, the majority maintains that there is nothing to see here, because not every lawsuit brought by a new industry upstart will win, and, at any rate, many agency regulations are already subject to challenge,” Jackson wrote. “But this myopic rationalization overlooks other significant changes that this Court has wrought this Term with respect to the longstanding rules governing review of agency actions.”

“The discerning reader will know that the Court has handed down other decisions this Term that likewise invite and enable a wave of regulatory challenges—decisions that carry with them the possibility that well-established agency rules will be upended in ways that were previously unimaginable. Doctrines that were once settled are now unsettled, and claims that lacked merit a year ago are suddenly up for grabs.”

One clear example of this is the mifepristone ruling, when the court ruled earlier this month to temporarily preserve access to the abortion pill. But the case hinged not on whether people have a right to bodily autonomy but whether the plaintiffs had standing to challenge a federal agency’s decision. And that same question has already been applied to gun control in a lower court.

“The tsunami of lawsuits against agencies that the Court’s holdings in this case and Loper Bright have authorized has the potential to devastate the functioning of the Federal Government,” Jackson warned, and she urged Congress to pass protections “to address this absurdity and forestall the coming chaos.”

“It can opt to correct this Court’s mistake by clarifying that the statutes it enacts are designed to facilitate the functioning of agencies, not to hobble them,” she wrote.

More about the Supreme Court’s attacks on federal agencies:

Gretchen Whitmer Gives Dire Warning to Team Biden After Debate: Report

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer isn’t interested in replacing Joe Biden, but she does have some words of caution.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer
Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Despite calls for her to replace Joe Biden as the Democratic nominee for president in November, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer wants no part of it. But she may have warned the president that her state is now unwinnable for him.

Politico reports that Whitmer made a phone call to the Biden campaign Friday night saying that she was upset with her name being floated as a replacement for Biden, and that she had nothing to do with it.

However, Politico columnist Jonathan Martin wrote that he was alerted to the call by a national Democratic rival to Whitmer, who said the Michigan governor also called to tell the Biden camp that the debate had ruined the president’s chances in the state.

Whatever the case may be, this is not great news for Biden, except for Whitmer wishing to stay out of replacement discussions. The fact that a “Draft Gretch” movement has quickly arisen after Thursday night’s debate disaster shows that at least a segment of Democrats want to replace Biden. And if Whitmer actually called the campaign to tell them Michigan was lost, which she would have insight into as governor, that’s a key battleground state at risk in November.

Michigan was the target of a coordinated effort for voters to select an “uncommitted” option during the Democratic presidential primary elections to protest Biden’s support of Israel’s brutal war in Gaza. “Uncommitted” ended up with 13.2 percent of the vote in Michigan’s February primary and jumpstarted a national effort, with several other states with the option on their ballots registering strong showings. In total, 37 uncommitted delegates will be present at the Democratic National Convention in August, and could be a factor if confidence in Biden’s ability to defeat Donald Trump continues to drop.

Right now, Democrats and the Biden campaign are still reeling from Thursday’s debate, with calls echoing from across the Democratic Party spectrum for him to step aside or refuse to run again. While former President Barack Obama attempted to tamp down those calls with a tweet Friday afternoon, others have urged him to make a more forceful intervention. It seems that the next few weeks and months could have a crucial effect not only on November’s election but on the fate of the country at large.

Supreme Court Hands Donald Trump Ultimate Power in Immunity Ruling

The Supreme Court has sent the question of Donald Trump’s immunity back to a lower court, essentially scuppering any chance of a preelection trial.

Donald Trump points
Hannah Beier/Bloomberg/Getty Images

The Supreme Court ruled Monday that Donald Trump cannot be held accountable for some of the actions he took to overturn the 2020 election results.

The case, Trump v. United States, sprang out of Trump’s federal election interference trial as a preemptive defense, arguing that Trump could not be tried on conspiracy and obstruction charges due to presidential immunity privileges that he held during office—but few expected Monday’s outcome.

In a 6-3 ruling along ideological lines, the court ruled that some of the actions Trump was indicted for could be categorized as official acts during his presidency.

“Under our constitutional structure of separated powers, the nature of Presidential power entitles a former President to absolute immunity from criminal prosecution for actions within his conclusive and preclusive constitutional authority,” read the opinion’s syllabus. “There is no immunity for unofficial acts.”

Writing the majority opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts outlined that the president is not immune from criminal prosecution—except on some occasions.

“The President is not above the law,” Roberts wrote. “But under our system of separated powers, the President may not be prosecuted for exercising his core constitutional powers, and he is entitled to at least presumptive immunity from prosecution for his official acts.”

In a dissenting opinion, Justice Sonia Sotomayor feared for the future of a country that legally permits the executive branch authority to commit crimes under the cloak of the office, arguing that the court’s decision made a “mockery” of the Constitutional principle that “no man is above the law,” and that its “own misguided wisdom” gave Trump “all the immunity he asked for and more.”

“Never in the history of our Republic has a President had reason to believe that he would be immune from criminal prosecution if he used the trappings of his office to violate the criminal law,” Sotomayor wrote. “Moving forward, however, all former Presidents will be cloaked in such immunity. If the occupant of that office misuses official power for personal gain, the criminal law that the rest of us must abide will not provide a backstop. With fear for our democracy, I dissent.”

The decision from the conservative majority overturned a federal appeals court ruling that had unanimously rejected all three of Trump’s presidential immunity arguments in his January 6 case, “patiently, painstakingly, and unsparingly” dismantling his arguments in an “airtight” opinion, according to George Conway, a conservative attorney and ex-husband of former Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway.

“This opinion is so good, and so clear, so comprehensive, there’s nothing in it that could be possibly attacked. I don’t see how even the Supreme Court could write—I don’t see how any judge, any court, anywhere, including the Supreme Court, could write a better opinion that more accurately states what the law is and should be,” Conway told CNN in February before the Supreme Court opted to hear the case.

Monday’s decision effectively kills the January 6 trial, which would have been overseen by U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan.

This story has been updated.

Trump’s Midnight Tantrum: The Pelosi Comment He Couldn’t Handle

Donald Trump went on a wild rant about Nancy Pelosi in the middle of the night.

Donald Trump speaks at a lectern
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Donald Trump stayed up well past his bedtime Sunday and, like so many people who have a toxic relationship with social media, spent his night rage-posting about Nancy Pelosi.

At 12:30 a.m. E.T., Trump fumed at Pelosi’s Sunday morning appearance on MSNBC, where she described Trump’s debate last week as a “manifesto of lies” and recalled when she shredded a copy of his State of the Union address in 2020. This apparently roiled Trump, who falsely claimed Pelosi was “exposed by her daughter, a filmmaker, as being fully responsible for the lack of security on January 6th” before declaring Pelosi is “a sick ‘puppy,’ and always has been!!”

Truth Social Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump: Crazy Nancy Pelosi, who the other day was exposed by her daughter, a filmmaker, as being fully responsible for the lack of security on January 6th is, in my opinion, more cognitively impaired than Crooked Joe Biden. I just watched her do an interview, and she was way “off.” Additionally, she is suffering from TRUMP DERANGEMENT SYNDROME, sometimes referred to as TDS, and her case is terminal! She is a sick “puppy,” and always has been!!!

During her interview on MSNBC, Pelosi pointed out that it was Trump’s own inactions that aided in the riotous storming of the Capitol on January 6, 2021, likening it to Trump’s downplaying of Covid-19 and elevation of Covid-related conspiracy theories which, Pelosi and public health experts agree, greatly exacerbated the pandemic.

“This is a dangerous person and evil,” Pelosi told MSNBC.

Trump blamed Pelosi for the Capitol riot during his debate—but Pelosi didn’t block the National Guard from mobilizing as Trump supporters rioted at the Capitol. She doesn’t even have authority to reject them—and footage captured by her daughter on January 6, 2021 showed Pelosi desperately calling military contacts to ask why the National Guard hadn’t mobilized.

The morning after the debate, Pelosi pointed out the absurdity of Trump’s claim, telling reporters with CBS, “He thinks I planned my own assassination? He’s sicker than I thought.”

That Lazy “Black Americans for Trump” Event Exposed as Deceptive Ploy

Donald Trump is now fighting with the owner of the barbershop where he hosted the recent event.

Donald Trump speaks at a podium
Parker Michels-Boyce/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Donald Trump’s attempts to win over Black voters are still doing the exact opposite.

The Trump campaign suggested Saturday night that the owner of a Black barbershop in Atlanta was lying when he claimed he was never informed that the roundtable of Black conservatives he hosted last week was in benefit of the former president.

“The business owner signed an agreement with the Trump campaign and received payment for the time spent in his location for this event,” the campaign wrote in a post on X, sharing snapshots of the venue use contract, which refers to event security as the “Secret Service” and the campaign as “DJTFP24” and a “private political committee.”

Rocky Jones, the owner of Rocky’s Barber Shop, said he wanted to return the money (just $4,800, per the contract) once he discovered that the event for which he closed his shop was actually for Trump’s campaign. Jones claimed that a friend had reached out to him to set up the event, misrepresenting its purpose. Jones also said he had never been in contact with anyone from Trump’s team or campaign and that he never understood the intention of the event from the verbal communication he had received.

“I really take pride in my business,” Jones told Atlanta News First, noting that he had received multiple upset calls from his community over the event. “It’s never been about politics.… I feel like I’ve been betrayed.”

Jones had jumped at the opportunity under the impression that it was an opportunity to lift up other small, Black-owned businesses.

“Just me agreeing to do a Black, small business roundtable,” Jones said. “I thought it was something private.”

But when Trump called in to the event, Jones was shocked. “Why is the … ex-president calling somebody in my barber shop?” he said. “This has nothing to do with small Black businesses.”

The roundtable featured Representatives Byron Donalds and Wesley Hunt, as well as former Trump Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, but Trump himself failed to show. Instead, he opted to literally phone it in to discuss the tax cuts he intends to make for billionaires and the ultrarich should he win in November.

Lindsey Graham Vows Retribution, Backs Trump’s Ominous Revenge Plan

The South Carolina senator has taken up Donald Trump’s call to persecute political enemies.

Lindsey Graham gestures as he speaks
Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc/Getty Images

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham is promising retribution against President Joe Biden should Donald Trump be reelected in November.

During an interview Sunday with CNN’s Dana Bash, who moderated the presidential debate last week, the South Carolina Republican warned that Biden would get what was coming to him—and it would be all his fault.

“The Democrats keep calling President Trump a felon. Well, be careful what you wish for. I expect there will be an investigation of Biden’s criminality at the border,” said Graham. “This country is going to have a reset here, and, using Biden’s standard of glorifying political prosecutions, a Pandora’s box has been opened. Whether he steps down or not, accountability is coming to him.”

Trump was found guilty in May of 34 felony counts by a Manhattan jury, in a trial that Trump and his allies have insisted was rigged for him to lose. Now Trump’s allies want the same for Biden.

“Sir, you just warned of retribution,” Bash replied.

“Yeah. I warned that the Pandora’s box opened by the Democrats is going to be applied here,” Graham said.

He argued that Republicans deserved their own version of the House’s January 6 committee, which investigated crimes that occurred during the insurrection at the Capitol three years ago. Now Graham is seeking “a committee looking at border policies that have led to the rape and murder of lots of Americans.”

Graham also snidely complimented Bash on her laissez-faire handling of the presidential debate, during which Trump got to say basically whatever lie he wanted. CNN did fact-check his statements, but not until after the debate had actually ended. As a result, Republicans have been quick to gush over CNN and how much they loved the debate, despite attacking the hosts and network in the weeks leading up to it.

“You all did a good job. You let him talk. You’re not fact-checkers. You let him talk,” said Graham.

“Disgrace!”: Enraged MTG Loses It Over Steve Bannon Incarceration

Bannon is officially reporting to prison—and Marjorie Taylor Greene is fuming.

Marjorie Taylor Greene holds a red MAGA cap and speaks before a dozen of mics. She is presumably outside the Capitol.
Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc/Getty Images

Marjorie Taylor Greene is furious that former Donald Trump adviser Steve Bannon is reporting to prison Monday.

On Sunday night, Greene posted an interview with Bannon for his War Room podcast on X (formerly Twitter) in support of the MAGA gadfly, calling his imprisonment “a DISGRACE to our country, and an affront to the principles of justice it was founded upon,” repeating conspiracy theories about the 2020 election and the January 6, 2021, Capitol insurrection.

“I want to talk about the January 6 committee, Steve, because people need to understand how it was set up, why it’s illegitimate, and why it has been a complete failure in our Republican-controlled Congress not to have voted that the January 6 committee is completely illegitimate and completely wipe out these contempt of Congress charges that you’re going to prison for tomorrow,” Greene ranted.

Bannon has been trying to avoid prison ever since he was convicted in 2022 for contempt by a federal jury for refusing the House January 6 committee’s subpoena to testify regarding the Capitol insurrection. Earlier this month, a federal judge ordered him to report to prison after the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld his conviction.

While Greene lamented inaction by Congress, she didn’t mention that last week Speaker Mike Johnson held a secret vote with other Republican leaders to formally disavow the January 6 committee with the hope of allowing lawmakers to file a legal brief in support of Bannon with Congress’s backing. Greene also didn’t mention that Representative Barry Loudermilk then filed a brief to the Supreme Court arguing that witnesses in congressional investigations are allowed to ignore subpoenas that they feel are invalid—probably because that attempt failed when the Supreme Court denied Bannon’s application for release Friday.

The Supreme Court was essentially Bannon’s last shot at avoiding prison, and since he’s also awaiting charges from the state of New York about a fraudulent border wall charity scheme, Bannon will not be serving his time in a minimum security “Club Fed” prison camp. Instead, he’ll be in a low-security prison for nonviolent offenders.

Bannon was fortunate to escape prison over federal charges for the border wall scheme thanks to a pardon from Trump. Now his political activities will have to be conducted from behind bars. 

Trump Begs Supreme Court for Immunity in Desperate Pre-Ruling Meltdown

Donald Trump is freaking out over the Supreme Court’s impending immunity decision.

Donald Trump looks speaks, brows furrowed, as a crowd surrounds him.
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Donald Trump’s Sunday scaries manifested in pathetic fashion Sunday night, as Trump took to Truth Social to beg the Supreme Court to give him “strong presidential immunity” ahead of an impending decision by the court on Monday morning that will determine the fate of his federal election interference case.

“Without Presidential Immunity, a President of the United States literally could not function!” Trump lied Sunday night on Truth Social. “It should be a STRONG IMMUNITY, where proper decisions can be made, where our Country can be POWERFUL and THRIVE, and where Opponents cannot hold up and extort a Future President for Political Gain.”

“It is a BIG decision, an important decision, a decision which can affect the Success or Failure of our Country for decades to come. We want a GREAT Country, not a weak, withering, and ineffective one,” Trump added. “STRONG PRESIDENTIAL IMMUNITY IS A MUST!”

If the Supreme Court sides with Trump, the decision will effectively end special prosecutor Jack Smith’s case against Trump—leaving him with just his 34 felonies (for now). Trump celebrated a ruling by the Supreme Court last week that significantly weakened a statute used to charge more than 300 Capitol rioters and that Trump himself is also charged with. However, as Slate noted, that decision crystallized charges against Trump—despite the gains it gave to his loyalist, rioting followers.

Trump has repeatedly floated pursuing criminal cases against his political rivals and vowing revenge. Only recently has Trump adjusted his meaning to claim “the best revenge is the success and prosperity of all Americans.”

Trump has sought absolute immunity from criminal charges, arguing in part that criminal charges for criminal actions he took while president would have a chilling effect on future presidents. In February, the D.C. Court of Appeals rejected that argument, and during oral arguments, the Supreme Court in April seemed similarly skeptical of the argument.

Steve Bannon Is Finally Going to Prison

Amid a flood of bad news, here is a small good thing.

Steve Bannon and his lawyer walk in front of a man holding a "Lock Them Up" sign.
Andrew Harnik/Getty Images
Steve Bannon and his attorney before a recent court appearance

Steve Bannon will have to go to prison even as he awaits an appeal of his contempt of Congress guilty verdict, the Supreme Court ruled Friday, denying his application for release.  

The onetime Trump adviser and host of the War Room podcast on Real America’s Voice has desperately been trying to avoid prison ever since his conviction by a federal jury in 2022 for refusing a subpoena from the House January 6 committee’s investigation into the Capitol insurrection. Several Republicans have gone to bat for Bannon in recent days, attempting some outlandish legal maneuvers.  

Speaker Mike Johnson and other Republican leaders formally disavowed the January 6 committee in a secret vote Tuesday night, in an attempt to allow lawmakers to file a legal brief for Bannon on behalf of Congress. In a subsequent move, Representative Barry Loudermilk filed a brief with the Supreme Court arguing that if any witness in a congressional investigation thinks a subpoena isn’t valid, they can ignore it. Their cumulative efforts appear to have failed.  

Earlier this month, a federal judge ordered Bannon to report to prison after the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia upheld his conviction. The Supreme Court was a long shot, last-ditch effort for Bannon. Because he faces charges in the state of New York over a border wall fraud scheme, Bannon is not going to go to a minimum-security “Club Fed” facility, as he would prefer, but a less cushy low-security prison for nonviolent offenders.  

In prison, Bannon won’t be able to continue his usual activities, such as interfering in other countries’ politics as well as the upcoming U.S. election. He won’t be able to host his podcast and let far-right Republicans rant about whatever they want. Now, after escaping prison once thanks to a Trump pardon over the border wall fraud scheme, he will soon be behind bars.