Speedy Justice? Trump’s Immunity Appeal Fast-Tracked!

In a court decision that can only be described as predictable, the Second Circuit appeals court has denied former President Donald Trump’s request to pause the defamation case brought against him by writer E. Jean Carroll. However, the court did order that the appeal be expedited, recognizing that it is in the best interest of the parties involved to quickly resolve the issue of absolute presidential immunity.

President Trump now has until September 18th to submit his brief, with Ms. Carroll provided 15 days after that to respond. If necessary, President Trump will have an additional five days to file a response. A panel will then be assigned to hear the case.

Interestingly, the trial is scheduled to take place on January 15, 2024, which happens to be the same day as the New Hampshire Republican primary. President Trump is currently leading the GOP field by double digits as he campaigns for re-election in 2024. It seems he will have a busy schedule both on the campaign trail and in the courtroom.

This decision comes after a federal judge denied President Trump’s request to delay the trial and dismissed his countersuit alleging defamation by Ms. Carroll. Judge Lewis Kaplan, who is presiding over the case, has consistently ruled against President Trump in motions related to this case.

Ms. Carroll initially brought the defamation case against President Trump in 2022, based on his denials of her sexual assault allegations. She later amended the lawsuit to include additional comments he made in the press. The case revolves around an encounter in 1996 when Ms. Carroll alleges President Trump raped her in a dressing room. He has consistently denied the allegations, claiming he never met her and accusing her of fabricating the story.

In May, a jury awarded Ms. Carroll $5 million in damages in a separate lawsuit, finding President Trump liable for both defamation and “sexual battery.” President Trump appealed the ruling, but his request for a new trial or reduced damages was denied. The court also allowed Ms. Carroll to seek additional damages in an amended complaint, asking for $10 million. The upcoming trial in January will determine the amount of damages to be awarded to Ms. Carroll.

The key issue in this case is the concept of “absolute immunity” for presidents, which derives from the Constitution’s description of their official duties. While presidents are not immune from all proceedings and can be subject to subpoenas, previous Supreme Court rulings have granted them immunity for actions taken while in office. However, the Department of Justice recently reversed its position on this matter, stating that it can no longer conclude President Trump was acting in his official capacity when making the statements in question. As the case moves forward, the court will need to determine the extent to which absolute immunity applies to the former president.

Written by Staff Reports

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