The Media Is Wrong — Trump’s Immunity Appeal Is Moving Along At ‘Lightning’ Speed

Photo by Gage Skidmore

Former President Donald Trump’s bid to dismiss his election interference case based on presidential immunity is moving rapidly through the courts, contrary to recent media claims that it has been “slow-walked.”

Media pundits and left-leaning legal scholars slammed the Supreme Court Wednesday for its decision to take up Trump’s presidential immunity appeal, noting it could have done so back in December, when special counsel Jack Smith asked the justices to consider the question without letting the lower court weigh in first. However, other legal experts pointed out that courts have already been departing from normal procedure to accelerate Trump’s case, moving at “lightning” speed.

“This case has proceeded more rapidly than the average case,” Case Western Reserve University law professor Jonathan Adler told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “While we might like for the underlying issues to be resolved more quickly, it is also important that courts get questions of this gravity correct. While most assume that the Court will ultimately deny Trump’s immunity claims, how the courts do so is important and is worth getting right.”

Judge Tanya Chutkan denied Trump’s initial request to dismiss his case based on presidential immunity in December 2023, close to two months after Trump’s filing. The D.C. Circuit expedited his appeal, issuing its opinion just under a month after hearing oral arguments.

The Supreme Court then granted certiorari in Trump’s case just sixteen days after he submitted his application on Feb. 12 and set oral arguments for the week of April 22.


Under regular procedure, the Supreme Court likely would not even issue a decision until early 2026, Attorney Dilan Esper wrote on X. He argued that the case has been expedited by nearly “two years total” in the courts.

“Want to know what regular order looks like? Well, Judge Chutkan takes 6 months to rule on the motion to dismiss, and rules on it the last week of March 2024,” Esper said. “The DC Circuit appeal takes a year and is decided in March 2025. Throw on another month for the en banc denial.”

“Trump petitions for certiorari in Spring 2025 and his petition is granted and the case is briefed in the summer and early fall and is argued in November 2025,” Esper continued.

Harvard University law professor Noah Feldman made a similar point in a Bloomberg column Thursday, stating it is not an “outrage” if the Supreme Court “ends up taking four or five months ” to decide.

“It would be better, of course, if the court would rule expeditiously,” he wrote. “But it’s not the court’s responsibility to speed up Trump’s trial so that it can happen before the election. The timing was set by the Biden administration’s decision not to appoint Smith until long after Jan. 6.”

Katelynn Richardson on February 29, 2024

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