• Last modified 20 days ago (July 3, 2024)


Fatal immunity

To the editor:

Well, it was a good run. We made it within 3 days of 248 years. But thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court, the United States of America has changed fundamentally. It appears we now have a king, not a president.

On July 1, 2024, a date which will live in infamy, a six-member majority of the court ruled that “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. And he is entitled to at least presumptive immunity from prosecution for all his official acts. There is no immunity for unofficial acts.”

Absolute immunity from criminal prosecution. The president is now above the law. My God.

We’re not talking about official acts like executive orders to protect the spotted owl or whether to put a Christmas tree in the White House. We’re talking about committing crimes while president.

Justice Sotomayor, with Kagan and Jackson dissenting, said, “Today’s decision … makes a mockery of the principal, foundational to our Constitution and system of government, that no man is above the law.”

This is the whole idea why America was born, because the founders wanted to be freed from the king of England’s grip over them. And now, we’re back there again. Ironic, right? Just in time for the Fourth of July.

Sotomayor: “The President of the United States is the most powerful person in the country, and possibly the world. When he uses his official powers in any way, under the majority’s reasoning, he will now be insulated from criminal prosecution. Orders the Navy 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. Even if these nightmare scenarios never play out, and pray they never do, the damage has been done. 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.”

The dissent again: “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…. With fear for our democracy, I dissent.”

This is the most important Supreme Court ruling that has ever been. This is the most important Supreme Court ruling that will ever be. That’s because everything else hinges on it.

What’s crazy is, after reading the actual court ruling, nowhere is there in the Constitution anything about the president being immune from criminal prosecution.

The dissenting justices explain that the majority basically just made up their position out of thin air. You no longer say in this country that no man is above the law.

It was a good run. But now, the United States of America is not the same. Readers, you better think hard if you will ever stand for the flag or national anthem ever again.

Because the country you once thought you lived in, some of you fought for, is now changed. It no longer exists.

Brian D. Stucky

Last modified July 3, 2024