Home North America US Supreme Court Ruling On Presidential Immunity A “Dangerous Precedent”: Biden

US Supreme Court Ruling On Presidential Immunity A “Dangerous Precedent”: Biden

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Former U.S. President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gestures during a campaign event in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., June 22, 2024. REUTERS/Tom Brenner

President Joe Biden said on Monday the US Supreme Court ruling on presidential immunity set a “dangerous precedent” that could turn presidents into kings and called on the American people to “dissent” by rejecting Donald Trump in November’s election.

In clear, measured remarks from the White House, Biden said the US Supreme Court decision meant Trump was highly unlikely to go on trial before the Nov. 5 election for his role in seeking to overturn the results of the 2020 election, and warned it could turn U.S. presidents into kings.

The court found Trump cannot be prosecuted for any actions that were within his constitutional powers as president, but can be for private acts, in a landmark ruling recognizing for the first time any form of presidential immunity from prosecution.

“This nation was founded on the principle that there are no kings in America. Each, each of us is equal before the law. No one, no one is above the law. Not even the president of the United States,” Biden said, reading from a teleprompter.

He said the court’s decision meant there were now virtually no limits on what a president could do.

“It’s a dangerous precedent, because the power of the office will no longer be constrained by the law,” Biden said. “The only limits will be self-imposed by the president alone.”

Biden, 81, was making his first set of remarks at the White House since his shaky debate against Trump last week led to calls for him to step aside as the Democratic Party’s
standard-bearer for the election.

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After he stumbled over his words on the Atlanta debate stage, his remarks and comportment are being scrutinized for signs that he is up to the job of running for re-election and of governing the country for four more years.

Biden said he sided with liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who wrote she feared for U.S. democracy in her dissent in the 6-3 decision.

“Now the American people will have to do what the court should have been willing to do, but will not. The American people will render judgment on Donald Trump’s tenure,” Biden
said, alluding to the November presidential election.

“I concur with Justice Sotomayor’s dissent today,” he added. “So should the American people dissent. I dissent. May God bless you all. May God help preserve our democracy,” Biden said in closing.

“Now the man who sent that mob to the U.S. Capitol is facing potential criminal conviction for what happened that day. The American people deserve to have an answer in the courts before the upcoming election,” Biden said, referring to Trump being
charged for his role in spurring the riot.

Biden said the public has a right to know the results of that prosecution before the election in November. “Now, because of today’s decision, that is highly, highly unlikely. It’s a terrible disservice to the people in this nation.”

With Reuters inputs