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Constitutional expert said he believes recent immunity ruling by Supreme Court is too broad

Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court
Olivier Douliery
AFP via Getty Images
Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court

Last week, the U.S Supreme Court ruled in favor of former President Donald Trump in the Trump v. United States case, according to NPR News.

In the opinion, the majority wrote that any president has immunity when they are exercising their “core constitutional duties.” In an interview with KARK Channel 4’s Capitol View, John DiPippa, dean emeritus of the Bowen School of Law and a constitutional expert, said one of the issues with this ruling is it is difficult to determine whether or not a president is acting within their official capacity.

“The details make it very difficult to ever show a president’s acts are unofficial,” Dipippa said. “For example, the court said if a president talks to a cabinet official or the attorney general that’s an official act and you can’t use the conversation to prove that it was unofficial or if he was pursuing a private goal.”

In the majority opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts said immunity is needed for the president so they are able to make unpopular decisions when needed.

During its current term, the Supreme Court also overturned the Chevron Doctrine. When a law passed by Congress was unclear, the courts would allow the federal agencies to interpret and carry out actions, if their interpretation of the unclear law was reasonable and this was known as the Chevron Doctrine. Dipippa said the recent ruling takes away power from the agencies.

"Going forward, this case basically says that courts don’t have to really defer to what the agencies and what the experts think, rather they can use their own interpretation on what the law allows. This opens up the universe to thousands of regulations to potential challenges,” he said.

According to a press release from U.S Sen. Ted Cruz’s office, U.S Senator Tom Cotton, Republican of Arkansas, joined Cruz’s amicus brief arguing why the court should abandon the Chevron Doctrine.

Ronak Patel is a reporter for Little Rock Public Radio.