Boots & Sabers

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1819, 01 Jul 24

“Absolute Immunity”

SCOTUS made this ruling today. It gave me pause.

Held: 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.

Affirming that any person in our United States has “absolute immunity from criminal prosecution” is a very, very serious thing. In this case, however, I think the court got it right.

Go read the whole opinion and the dissents. It’s an informative read and fairly easy to follow.

Such an immunity is required to safeguard the independence and effective functioning of the Executive Branch, and to enable the President to carry out his constitutional duties without undue caution. At a minimum, the President must be immune from prosecution for an official act unless the Government can show that applying a criminal prohibition to that act would pose no “dangers of intrusion on the authority and functions of the Executive Branch.” Fitzgerald, 457 U. S., at 754. Pp. 12–15.

(3) As for a President’s unofficial acts, there is no immunity.

In any system of government, the Executive is granted immense power and authority precisely to do things that regular citizens can’t do. We give the Executive the power to wage war, use violent power to strip people of their rights, enforce the collection of taxes, and so much more. Any of these powers, if exercised by an ordinary citizen, would be a crime. An ordinary citizen is not permitted by law to kill someone except in self defense. An ordinary citizen may not lock up their neighbor in prison. An ordinary citizen may not legally take their neighbor’s money to spend on other people.

Since the Executive is empowered and charged by the People to exercise these extraordinary powers on the People’s behalf, the Executive must be free of the threat of criminal prosecution for executing their charge within their official capacity. The People have ceded their right to exercise violent authority on their fellow citizens in exchange for an orderly society enforced by the government to which they ceded their power. It’s a trade.

In our system of government, the proper remedy for correcting an Executive who is using their extraordinary power inappropriately is found at the ballot box. In exceptional cases, an Executive can be removed from office via the Constitutional impeachment and removal process. Our Founders thought this out.

No, it’s not perfect, but no representative government is. It is merely the least objectional form of government necessitated by the pervasive evil imbued in our fallen race.

Once again, this court got it right. It is worth noting that no previous court has ever had to consider and opine on this issue because no previous DOJ had ever sought to prosecute a former president for acts done in office. But here we are…


1819, 01 July 2024


  1. Merlin

    Apparently Clarence Thomas has had his fill of the Left’s use of lawfare (and their general love of politics for personal destruction). In his concurring opinion he goes well out of his way to offer Judge Cannon a road map for stopping the Merrick Garland/Jack Smith circus down in Florida dead in its tracks. Thomas directly questions the legality of Smith’s appointment as Special Counsel and encourages the lower court to answer that question before proceeding any further. That’s not a mere shot across the bow. That’s a broadside at close range.

  2. dad29

    Justice Thomas has a secret smile as he dismantles the Biden Courts of Star Chamber.

    Those who know, know…….

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