Home » House Democrat pledges amendment to reverse Trump immunity ruling | House of Representatives

House Democrat pledges amendment to reverse Trump immunity ruling | House of Representatives

by John Jefferson
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A Democratic congressman is calling for a new constitutional amendment to reverse the supreme court’s ruling granting presidents broad immunity from criminal prosecution, a decision that could hamstring the federal case against Donald Trump over his efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

Congressman Joe Morelle, a New York Democrat, raised the idea on Monday, just hours after the supreme court issued its 6-3 decision, which fell along ideological lines.

“I will introduce a constitutional amendment to reverse Scotus’s harmful decision and ensure that no president is above the law,” Morelle wrote on X. “This amendment will do what Scotus failed to do – prioritize our democracy.”

But Morelle’s plan is highly unlikely to succeed. A constitutional amendment can be proposed either by a two-thirds majority vote in the House and Senate or by a constitutional convention, which may be called by two-thirds of state legislatures.

With Republicans controlling the House of Representatives and a majority of state legislative chambers, that hurdle appears impossible to overcome. Republicans largely celebrated the court’s ruling as a win for the rule of law, despite legal experts’ warnings that the decision could set a dangerous precedent for future presidents.

“Today’s ruling by the court is a victory for former president Trump and all future presidents, and another defeat for President Biden’s weaponized Department of Justice and Jack Smith,” Mike Johnson, the Republican House speaker, said on Monday.

Even if a two-thirds majority of Congress members did somehow come together to propose Morelle’s suggested amendment, it would need to be ratified by three-quarters of state legislatures to be added to the constitution. Given that Democrats control just 41% of state legislative chambers, ratification efforts would almost certainly prove futile.

With few options to challenge the court’s ruling, Democrats seem intent on turning the immunity case into a campaign issue. As he addressed the court’s decision on Monday evening, Joe Biden called on Americans to prevent Trump from returning to the White House at a time when “he’ll be more emboldened to do whatever he pleases”.

“Now the American people have to do what the court should have been willing to do and will not,” Biden said. “The American people have to render a judgement about Donald Trump’s behavior.”

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