Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Ketanji Brown Jackson issued dissents Monday in which they vehemently object to the court’s 6-3 opinion in the presidential immunity case brought by former President Donald Trump.

The majority of the high court held that presidents are entitled to “absolute immunity from criminal prosecution for actions within his conclusive and preclusive constitutional authority” as well as “at least presumptive immunity” for all official acts.


But Sotomayor, in a dissent, penned out of “fear for our democracy” and joined by Jackson and Elena Kagan, wrote that the majority’s ruling “reshapes the institution of the Presidency” and that “the President is now a king.”

Sotomayor wrote:

The Court effectively creates a law-free zone around the President, upsetting the status quo that has existed since the Founding. This new official acts immunity now lies about like a loaded weapon for any President that wishes to place his own interests, his own political survival, or his own financial gain, above the interests of the Nation.

Sotomayor wrote that, under the court’s ruling, the president will be “insulated from criminal prosecution” whenever he uses his official powers.

“Orders the Navy’s SEAL Team 6 to assassinate a political rival? Immune. Organizes a military coup to hold onto power? Immune,” she wrote. “Takes a bribe in exchange for a pardon? Immune. Immune, immune, immune.”

Sotomayor claimed the Supreme Court gave Trump “all the immunity he asked for and more.”

However, Chief Justice John Roberts specifically stated in his majority opinion that Trump asserted “a far broader immunity than the limited one we have recognized.”

“He contends that the indictment must be dismissed because the Impeachment Judgment Clause requires that impeachment and Senate conviction precede a President’s criminal prosecution,” Roberts wrote. “The text of the Clause provides little support for such an absolute immunity.”

Although Roberts wrote that Trump is “absolutely immune from prosecution for the alleged conduct involving his discussions with Justice Department officials,” the chief justice said the lower courts would have to sort out whether many other allegations in Trump’s indictment constituted official acts that are subject to immunity.

Roberts admonished the Sotomayor dissent for “cherry-pick[ing]” sources and “fearmongering on the basis of extreme hypotheticals.”

“As for the dissents, they strike a tone of chilling doom that is wholly disproportionate to what the Court actually does today—conclude that immunity extends to official discussions between the President and his Attorney General, and then remand to the lower courts to determine ‘in the first instance’ whether and to what extent Trump’s remaining alleged conduct is entitled to immunity,” Roberts wrote.

In her own dissent, Jackson wrote that the risks assumed by the court’s majority are “intolerable, unwarranted, and plainly antithetical to bedrock constitutional norms.”

Jackson wrote:

Stated simply: The Court has now declared for the first time in history that the most powerful official in the United States can (under circumstances yet to be fully determined) become a law unto himself. As we enter this uncharted territory, the People, in their wisdom, will need to remain ever attentive, consistently fulfilling their established role in our constitutional democracy, and thus collectively serving as the ultimate safeguard against any chaos spawned by this Court’s decision.

Trump was indicted in August 2023 on four felony counts relating to alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election, in which Joe Biden emerged the winner.

Trump sought to dismiss the indictment by arguing that he has absolute immunity from criminal prosecution for official acts during his presidency, but both the district court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit found that he didn’t have immunity.

In other opinions this term, the high court’s three liberal justices have admonished the majority for stripping power away from the executive branch.

“At the end of a momentous Term, this much is clear: The tsunami of lawsuits against agencies that the Court’s holdings in this case and Loper Bright have authorized has the potential to devastate the functioning of the Federal Government,” Jackson wrote in her dissent to another case Monday, where the majority ruled in favor of a North Dakota truck stop and allowed a longer time frame for challenging federal agency regulations.

The Supreme Court on Friday reversed its landmark Chevron ruling, which held that courts should defer to agency interpretations of statutes when the language is ambiguous.

Although opponents of Chevron praised the ruling as a victory that would take away a tool agencies used to violate the civil liberties of individuals who challenge government regulations, Kagan wrote in her dissent that it was an indication the high court’s majority “disdains restraint and grasps for power.”

Originally published by the Daily Caller News Foundation