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‘The Supreme Court Creates a Lawless Presidency’

July 02, 2024

At The New York Times, Prof. Kate Shaw writes that none of the Supreme Court’s precedents supports the Trump immunity decision.

Kate Shaw, Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School, writes that the Supreme Court’s decision in Trump v. United States makes “clear that the Roberts court believes the separation of powers means that both presidents and courts stand beyond the reach of the law.”

In “The Supreme Court Creates a Lawless Presidency” at The New York Times, Shaw warns, “A court willing to declare the president beyond the reach of the law, regardless of the actions of either the president or Congress, could use that same power to cloak itself in the same immunity from legal process.”

From The New York Times:

The Supreme Court’s radical decision handing the president broad immunity from criminal prosecution on Monday will rightly be understood as enormously increasing the power and enormously reducing the accountability of the president.

Kate Shaw, Professor of Law Kate Shaw, Professor of LawBut it should also be understood as a decision about the court’s own power and accountability. In casting aside the text, structure and history of the Constitution in favor of gauzy concerns about the need 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,” the court reveals that it will rule — and rule us all — based on its own free-floating and distorted vision of an optimal constitutional order.

It is increasingly clear that this court sees itself as something other than a participant in our democratic system. It sees itself as the enforcer of the separation of powers, but not itself subject to that separation… .

A constitutional law scholar, Shaw is a co-host of the Supreme Court podcast “Strict Scrutiny,” a contributor with ABC News, a Contributing Opinion Writer with The New York Times, and a Public Member of the Administrative Conference of the United States.

Read Shaw’s full piece at The New York Times.