Supreme Court rules on Trump’s tax returns


The US Supreme Court on Thursday issued its last opinions for the term and much attention has focused on the two 7-2 opinions concerning Trump’s tax returns. In one case in which Congress sought Trump’s tax returns, the court returned the case to the lower court saying that the judge should consider the separation of powers question. In the other case, the court said that documents pertaining to Trump’s financial records that were being held by his banks and accountants were not immune from grand jury investigations.

The commentary following those two verdicts have ranged from some declaring them as big wins for Trump (since it seems likely that his tax returns won’t become public before election day) to the other extreme of being a big loss for him (since the court denied his sweeping claims to immunity and ruled that he did not have the right to deny access to his returns), to a mixed bag.

Former acting solicitor general Neal Katyal, who has argued many cases before the Supreme Court, was one of those saying that this was a big defeat for Trump. Katyal also says that Trump supporters should not be too sanguine that the details of his financial records will not come out before November. It is not clear what Trump crimes the Manhattan grand jury is investigating since grand jury proceedings are secret and the documents are part of its secret proceedings. But the Manhattan district attorney can, if he wants, now move fast and get the jury to present indictments and once that happens, he can lay out whatever information in support of the charges.

In fact, the judge overseeing that Manhattan case has, without being asked, told the Manhattan DA and the defense attorneys to submit their arguments over these records by Wednesday, suggesting that he wants to fast-track the case.

Trump is, of course, enraged by the decisions.

UPDATE: Professor of law Kimberly Wehle has a nice explainer on why these rulings are a big win for Congress and a defeat for Trump.

Comments

  1. says

    The thing that delights me is the dissents were Thomas and Alito, which means BOTH of Trump’s hand-picked hoped-for-sycophants went against him on this. Kavanaugh and Gorsuch BOTH with the majority, and after Gorsuch wrote the 6-3 in favor of queer rights…