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‘It doesn’t get any stronger than this’

‘It doesn’t get any stronger than this’

Like CNN on Monday, MSNBC’s live coverage of the Supreme Court ruling on presidential immunity quickly devolved into hot air about Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s dissent, all about Trump ordering the assassination of a political rival by Seal Team Six. These Democratic justices can’t get enough of the hyperbole.

Legal analyst Neal Katyal, appointed by Obama, narrowed the decision 6-3 to Republican-appointed judges versus Democratic-appointed judges. He then read Sotomayor’s bluff and ended with, “Out of fear for our democracy, I disagree.” Katy Tur said, “It doesn’t get any stronger than this.”

Tur then cited more dissenting opinions, including the line that this decision “lies like a loaded weapon” in front of a corrupt president.

“If he uses his official powers in any way, he will now be immune from criminal prosecution, according to the majority’s reasoning. Orders the Navy Seal Team 6 to assassinate a political rival? Immune. Stages a military coup to retain power? Immune. Accepts bribes for a pardon? Immune. Immune, immune, immune.

Let the President break the law, let him exploit the trappings of his office for personal gain, let him use his official power for evil purposes. Because if he knew that he might one day be held accountable for breaking the law, he might not be as bold and fearless as we would like. That is the message of the majority today.”

Tur concluded: “The president is now a king above the law.” She asked Katyal: “She claims he can kill someone now. Is that what this majority opinion says?” Katyal agreed: “That is in fact what She says what the majority says, and I’m sure Trump will take it that way too.

Katyal then went on to campaign, saying the stakes are now “astronomical” and that people should vote for Biden. “This is a — you know, a clear call to the American public to understand the law, the courts are not going to protect us from a president who wants to break the law.”

Legal analyst Chuck Rosenberg became the dissenter amid the MSNBC panic: “I’m still reading through it, Katy, but I don’t see anything here that says that the assassination of a political rival is part of a president’s core constitutional responsibilities from which he or she would be absolutely immune.” He didn’t like the “indefinite” language of the decision, and “there’s a lot more immunity here than I thought there was, and I think it poses some dangers. But I don’t see anything here that, for example, condones the assassination of a political rival.”

Later, at 11:00 a.m., expert Maya Wiley added: “My main legal thoughts are: (the decision is) crow-crow!”

Tur suggested that Clarence Thomas’s dissent was “Trump-esque” because he wrote about an “energetic executive” and Trump describes himself as energetic. She did not suggest that the Sotomayor dissent was “Rachel Maddowesque.”