On Thursday, July 9, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in a 7-2 decision, “No citizen, not even the president, is categorically above the common duty to produce evidence when called upon in a criminal proceeding.” The court’s four liberals voted with him as well as Donald Trump’s two conservative appointees Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito dissented.
Trump immediately attacked the decision on Twitter, “ This is all a political prosecution. I won the Mueller Witch Hunt and others and now I have to keep fighting in a politically corrupt New York . Not fair to this Presidency or Administration.”
Justice Kavanaugh had said it a different way, “In our system of government, as this court has often stated, no one is above the law. That principle applies, of course to a president.”
Trump had claimed “absolute immunity” from investigators seeking his tax returns. For years, he had said that he was under audit, therefore he could not give his tax returns. That tired excuse no longer was valid.
He also had boasted at the failed Tulsa rally that he had appointed two “great justices to the Supreme Court”. Their votes with the majority made clear that they were independent in their new positions. In recent weeks, the court defied the president in cases on gay rights, DACA immigration, and abortion. Two years ago, Roberts rebuked Trump by saying there were “ No Obama judges and Trump judges” .
The landmark 7-2 decision was Trump v. Vance that New York prosecutors could seek Mr. Trump’s financial records.
……………………………….Joyce S. Anderson