President Trump Will Be Thrilled By What The Supreme Court Just Decided About His Tax Returns
(Tea Party 247) – Okay, so we all know that the state of modern politics is an absolute mess of confusion, but what just happened with the Supreme Court on Thursday of this week is mind-blowing. It’s amazing how complex our legal system has become in over 200 years.
Apparently, SCOTUS ruled 7-2 in the case known as Trump v. Mazars USA, LLP that the House of Representatives can’t demand President Trump hand over his tax returns. This is the exact opposite of another decision they made on the same day in the case Trump v. Vance, which states that New York prosecutors can get his tax returns for an investigation.
Is your head spinning yet? The law shouldn’t be this complicated, right?
Here’s more from Breitbart:
In Vance, the Court ruled that the president is not above the law, and that there is no heightened standard for subpoenas of a sitting president by ordinary prosecutors. But in Mazars, the Court ruled that the House cannot simply demand any documents it wants, because of the separation of powers.
Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the opinions for the Court in both cases. Trump’s appointees — Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh — joined the majority. The dissenters were Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito in both.
Mazars involved an effort by Democrats to obtain Trump’s personal financial records — and those of his family — by suing a private accounting firm.
Roberts summarized the case:
We have held that the House has authority under the Constitution to issue subpoenas to assist it in carrying out its legislative responsibilities. The House asserts that the financial information sought here—encompassing a decade’s worth of transactions by the President and his family—will help guide legislative reform in areas ranging from money laundering and terrorism to foreign involvement in U. S. elections. The President contends that the House lacked a valid legislative aim and instead sought these records to harass him, expose personal matters, and conduct law enforcement activities beyond its authority.
Roberts went on to say that whenever disputes of this nature, those between the legislative and executive branches, arise they are typically handled through negotiation instead of through the courts.
He went on to say that while Congress doesn’t have official subpoena power under the Constitution, the Courts have allowed it to have that for purposes relating to legislation. However, when it comes to law enforcement, Congress most definitely does not possess subpoena power.
While he rejected the president’s argument that there should be a heightened standard for subpoenas of the president, the president did have additional separation-of-powers concerns that an ordinary defendant would not.
Far from accounting for separation of powers concerns, the House’s approach aggravates them by leaving essentially no limits on the congressional power to subpoena the President’s personal records. Any personal paper possessed by a President could potentially “relate to” a conceivable subject of legislation, for Congress has broad legislative powers that touch a vast number of subjects. … Without limits on its subpoena powers, Congress could “exert an imperious controul” over the Executive Branch and aggrandize itself at the President’s expense, just as the Framers feared.
Roberts went on to describe a list of considerations that lower courts should have weighed:
- “First, courts should carefully assess whether the asserted legislative purpose warrants the significant step of involving the President and his papers.”
- “Second, to narrow the scope of possible conflict between the branches, courts should insist on a subpoena no broader than reasonably necessary to support Congress’s legislative objective.”
- “Third, courts should be attentive to the nature of the evidence offered by Congress to establish that a subpoena advances a valid legislative purpose.”
- “Fourth, courts should be careful to assess the burdens imposed on the President by a subpoena.”
The Court remanded the case back to the lower courts to consider the House subpoena request with these in mind.
What a mess. One of the many reasons folks have lost a lot of respect for our current legal system is because of the tangle of legalese that has replaced simple, easy to understand legislation. A legal system that requires this sort of finessing has grown to be far too bloated and is in need of a little pairing down.
Regardless, it will be interesting to see how the president reacts to all of this, as I’m sure he has no lack of opinions regarding the two different rulings.