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Vermont delegation slams Supreme Court ruling on Trump immunity claim

Jul 1, 2024

The three members of Vermont’s Congressional Delegation weighed in on Monday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision that former President Donald Trump is immune from prosecution on many of the charges related to his efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

U.S. Rep. Becca Balint and Vermont Senators Peter Welch and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) released statements hours after the Supreme Court’s 6-3 ruling, which will delay Trump’s potential trials involving efforts to subvert the 2020 election.

Representative Becca Balint said the “Supreme Court delivered another shocking blow to our democracy. This dangerous, disgraceful ruling allows Presidents to act like dictators with no consequence. Our democracy is built on the idea that no one is above the law. However, today, the Supreme Court dismantled that principle,” Balint continued. “Treason and inciting an insurrection are not core powers afforded to a President. Donald Trump has made clear he’s prepared to act as a dictator from the Oval Office from day one and the Supreme Court just gave him full permission. Congress must act to reel in this extremist MAGA court. Our democracy is on the line.”

Trump still has more charges and investigations ahead of him. But Senator Peter Welch said the majority “stood up for a political figure rather than the rule of law.

“This activist Supreme Court has unconscionably allowed Donald Trump to evade criminal liability, a move that all but ensures he will never face justice for his attempts to subvert our democracy. It defies logic and our nation’s democratic principle that no person is above the law,” Welch said. “This Court has lost all credibility—made painfully clear by the fact that Justice Thomas and Justice Alito refused to recuse themselves from this case despite their glaring lack of impartiality.

“It is clear that Donald Trump does not believe the law applies to him,” Welch concluded. “This decision makes it clear the conservative Justices of this Supreme Court believe the same.”

Senator Bernie Sanders said Monday’s decision is another one of several “dangerous rulings from a right-wing, corporate-sponsored Supreme Court that continues to serve an extremist agenda.

“Over the years, among other disastrous rulings, this right-wing court has given us Citizens United, which created a corrupt, billionaire dominated political system. It overturned Roe v. Wade, removing women’s constitutional right to control their own bodies. 

“Last week, the Court chose to criminalize poverty by banning homeless encampments in public spaces – forcing more poor people into the cycle of debt and poverty. With the Chevron case, they have made it far more difficult for the government to address the enormous crises we face in terms of climate change, public health, workers’ rights, and many other areas.

“And, today, the Court ruled in favor of broad presidential immunity, making it easier for Trump and other politicians to break the law without accountability.” 

Sanders continued, “If these conservative justices want to make public policy, they should simply quit the Supreme Court and run for political office.  At a time of massive income and wealth inequality, billionaire control of our political system, and major threats to the foundations of American democracy, it is clear to me that we need real Supreme Court reform. A strong, enforceable code of ethics is a start, but just a start. We’ll need much more than that.”

Story Written by Annabel Kusnitz, My Champlain Valley

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