The ruling came on the final day of the high court’s 2019-2020 term
Just The News:
The Supreme Court on Thursday said President Trump is not immune from New York’s subpoena for his tax returns, but that a prosecutor will not get documents now.
The decision was the first of two Thursday by the high court on the matter. The case appears headed back to a lower court, which appears to mean the years-long matter will not be resolved before the November elections.
In the second decision, the high court blocked House Democrats’ requests to get Trump’s tax records.
In Trump v. Vance, the majority opined that a subpoena to a sitting president does not have to meet a heightened standard. The court ruled 7-2, with the majority opinion written by Chief Justice John Roberts. Conservative justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch concurred with the majority, while Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas dissented.
In the second ruling, Trump v. Mazars USA, LLP, the court avoided a ruling, saying instead that lower courts had not taken full account of “all the possible separation of powers concerns.” The court’s decision effectively blocks House Democrats from accessing Trump’s financial records for the time being. more here
Levin Tweeted this from NBC News, calling it a fair description on what took place:
NBC: Supreme Court rules Trump will have to fight to keep secret his taxes, financial records.
Two cases against the president involving the Manhattan DA and House Democrats go back to the lower courts.
By Pete Williams
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday gave President Donald Trump a chance to beat back House Democrats’ efforts to obtain his financial records but ruled he is not immune from the Manhattan district attorney’s attempt to get his taxes.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. wants years worth of Trump’s tax returns as part of his probe into hush-money payments to two women while House Democrats sought financial records from the Trump Organization’s accounting firm and two banks to determine if foreign governments, including Russia, hold sway over him.
Both matters will go back to lower courts to determine if Trump needs to turn over any documents, which will not likely be settled before Election Day.
In our judicial system, “the public has a right to every man’s evidence,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the decision on the New York case. “Since the earliest days of the Republic, ‘every man’ has included the president of the United States. Beginning with Jefferson and carrying on through Clinton, presidents have uniformly testified or produced documents in criminal proceedings when called upon by federal courts.”
He added: “(W)e cannot conclude that absolute immunity is necessary or appropriate under Article II or the Supremacy Clause.”
The rulings, both 7-2, with Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas dissenting, represent a mixed bag for the president, allowing him to drag out the legal process but not providing him with any clear-cut victories.
Trump blasted the efforts to gain his financial information, tweeting after the rulings that it was “a political prosecution.”
The president’s attorney, Jay Sekulow, said Trump would challenge the efforts to get his financial records in the lower courts.
“We are pleased that in the decisions issued today, the Supreme Court has temporarily blocked both Congress and New York prosecutors from obtaining the president’s financial records,” Sekulow said. “We will now proceed to raise additional Constitutional and legal issues in the lower courts.” MORE