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The Emperor's New Tailors

Trump v. United States, oral arguments, wherein, the Supremes threw off their robes & revealed themselves to be butt-naked partisans. Trump’s attorney was literally arguing for Trump’s immunity to assassinate rivals. And the conservative justices (sans Coney Barrett) were unfazed; Alito posited the only thing that would keep future presidents from assassinating rivals would be immunity for assassinating rivals. Trump would be immune from ordering the military to stage a coup, and Thomas helpfully offered that there was indeed a long, grand history of U.S. presidents’ involvement in coups. Kavanaugh and Alito said they weren’t interested in the facts in the case, but, along with Gorsuch, seemed more interested in writing legislation for the future than in deciding the law of the actual case before them.

Alito imagined a hypothetical alternate reality in the future, where an incumbent president who narrowly lost reelection might be tempted to stay in power if he didn’t have immunity from prosecution, apparently unaware that the case before him involved an incumbent president who narrowly lost reelection and attempted to stay in power, and now seeks immunity from prosecution. The five might as well have been wearing bright red MAGA hats. It was widely assumed the court would try to DELAY the case past the election, but surely wouldn’t agree with the ridiculous immunity claims. Nope.

• Trump’s “new clothes” are modeled on King George III’s wardrobe.

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