Notice & Comment

The President’s Criminal Immunity

In the Trump era, I made several posts that explored how separation-of-powers principles might protect the President from prosecution, regarding his alleged interference with Department of Justice investigations. I have now written a longer piece, The President’s Criminal Immunity. The abstract is below:

This Essay addresses a monumental question that the Supreme Court will soon decide: Does the President enjoy criminal immunity for her official acts? This Essay argues that she does.

The potential criminal immunity for official acts has drawn exceptionally sharp critiques. Some scholars believe that the immunity is nonsensical, absurd, or downright offensive. Judge Florence Pan of the D.C. Circuit even posited that criminal immunity would allow the President to murder her political enemies with SEAL Team 6.

This Essay shows that the critics are profoundly mistaken. Criminal immunity for a President’s official acts finds a strong foothold in Supreme Court jurisprudence. As important, criminal immunity for official acts applies more narrowly than the critics believe. Immunity would allow a President to fearlessly exercise her constitutional prerogatives but would not allow her to bribe, steal, or murder.

You can read the full article here.

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