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United States Supreme Court 2024 Presidential Immunity Ruling

Updated Jul 02, 2024 at 12:16PM EDT by Zach.

Added Jul 02, 2024 at 05:40AM EDT by sakshi.

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The United States Supreme Court 2024 Presidential Immunity Ruling refers to a 6-3 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court issued on July 1st, 2024, which determined that presidential immunity extends to all of the president's official acts. The ruling comes as a result of Donald Trump's ongoing federal trial, with courts determining whether Trump engaged in election interference during the 2020 elections, including the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol. After the decision, various internet users expressed apprehension about the ruling and how it may give sitting presidents unchecked and unregulated unilateral power. The contentious ruling also spawned reactionary memes online in early July 2024.


The Department of Justice began an investigation into then-President Donald Trump's actions during the 2020 United States Presidential Elections and the January 6th attack on the Capitol in March 2022. On August 1st, 2023, the Columbia District Court indicted Trump on four charges, despite lawyers for Trump requesting the dismissal of those charges in October 2023 based on presidential immunity.

Donald Trump appealed the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court in February 2024, for which oral arguments were held on April 25th, 2024. On July 1st, 2024, the Supreme Court issued a 6-3 decision that asserted presidents have immunity from criminal prosecution for acts conducted under their core constitutional authority as presidents but did not have immunity for any private acts and some official acts.

According to Chief Justice Roberts, presidents could expect absolute immunity for acts related to key powers granted under the Constitution, such as commanding the military, issuing pardons, vetoing legislation, overseeing foreign relations, managing immigration and appointing judges.[1]

Justice Sotomayor issued a dissenting opinion on the ruling, saying that granting such immunity would not only reshape the institution of the Presidency but threaten American democracy writ large.[2] In her dissent, Sotomayor wrote:

Orders the Navy’s Seal Team 6 to assassinate a political rival? Immune. Organizes a military coup to hold onto power? Immune. Takes a bribe in exchange for a pardon? Immune. Immune, immune, immune,” she wrote, adding: “Even if these nightmare scenarios never play out, and I pray they never do, the damage has been done. The relationship between the president and the people he serves has shifted irrevocably.

Online Reactions

The controversial decision by the Supreme Court in early July 2024 quickly sparked widespread discussions, reactions and memes online as news spread.

A megathread to discuss the landmark ruling gathered over 33,000 upvotes on the subreddit /r/politics[4] on July 1st, 2024. Also on July 1st, Redditor[3] /u/randalflagg made a post that read, "The President Can Now Assassinate You, Officially." The post gathered over 33,000 upvotes in a day (seen below).

• r/politics 15 hr. ago randalflagg The President Can Now Assassinate You, Officially Soft Paywall thenation.com 33K 4.7K 2 ↑ Share Open

Later on July 1st, Redditor[5] /u/sarvox posted a picture of barricades being put up outside of the United States Supreme Court, gathering over 19,000 upvotes on /r/pics in less than a day (seen below).

← r/pics 8 hr. ago Sarvox Tonight, The Supreme Court. 20K 2.5K D AREA CLOSED By order of the Supreme Court Marshal ↑ Share

On July 1st, 2024, Twitter / X[6] user @MaxKennerly made a post joking about how Biden should "Drone Strike Donald Trump," gathering over 79,000 likes in a day (seen below, left). Also on July 1st, X[7] user @CantEverDie quoted a Dan Hentschel post in which he is dressed up as a judge, gathering over 37,000 likes in a day (seen below, right).

Max Kennerly @MaxKennerly In full compliance with the Supreme Court's ruling. OPINION THE EDITORIAL BOARD To Serve His Country, President Biden Should Drone Strike Donald Trump June 28, 2024, 5:59 p.m. ET 10:41 AM ⚫ Jul 1, 2024 3.1M Views ... beer person @CantEverDie supreme court justices: Dan Hentsch @danghentsch Oct 5, 2023 Y'all acting like I give a damn about anybody's opinion but my own 7:28 PM ⚫ Jul 1, 2024 598.4K Views

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External References

[1] Supreme Court – 2024 Ruling

[2]  Wahington Post – Judge Sotomayor

[3] Reddit – /r/politics

[4] Reddit – /r/politics

[5] Reddit – /r/pics

[6] X – MaxKennerly

[7] X – CantEverDie

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