Nope, just republicans…
Will All District Attorneys Now Be Empowered to Investigate All Future Presidents?
by Alan M. Dershowitz • July 15, 2020 at 5:00 am
- It should come as no surprise, therefore, that presidents are exempted from certain laws that are applicable to the rest of us. They cannot be prosecuted while serving in office. That, too, is the law.
- The argument against allowing state prosecutors to rummage through a sitting president’s papers and documents is that there is no limiting principle…. A president who received subpoenas from hundreds or thousands of local jurisdictions could become overwhelmed by the task of assisting his lawyers in thoroughly vetting them for claims of privilege. This is not a fanciful prospect in our current age in which the criminal justice system has been weaponized by both parties seeking partisan advantage.
- So the Supreme Court’s decision…. may also constitute a setback for the power of the presidency and our system of separation of powers and federalism.
- Despite the unanimity of the justices, I think the case was wrongly decided. If a sitting president cannot constitutionally be tried for a crime, it should follow that he should not be compelled to be a defendant in a civil case, since civil cases can be brought by anybody for nearly anything. I think the recent case was wrongly decided as well. No sitting president should be burdened by an unlimited number of subpoenas from an unlimited number of local district attorneys, at least some of whom may be motivated by partisan or self-serving considerations.
It is a truism that no person is above the law, but under our Constitution certain office holders are exempt from certain laws. That does not place them above the law. That is the law. For example, members of Congress cannot be held criminally or civilly accountable for action taken (with few exceptions) while in, or on the way to and from, Congress. In other words, a Senator cannot be prosecuted while driving drunk to a Senate debate. The rest of us can be arrested for driving drunk to our jobs. Judges, too, have broad immunity for what they do and say on the bench. It should come a no surprise, therefore, that presidents are exempted from certain laws that are applicable to the rest of us. They cannot be prosecuted while serving in office. That, too, is the law.