SCOTUS denial of Jack Smith petition for expedited review hands Trump big win

 December 24, 2023

In a significant loss for special counsel Jack Smith, the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday declared that it would not grant his request for expedited review of former President Donald Trump's immunity claim in his federal election interference case, as ABC News explained.

Smith's petition to the high court, which sought to bypass the normal phases of appellate review in the D.C. Circuit, was viewed by many as a ploy to avoid any delay of Trump's -- currently set to start on March 4 -- and to increase the chances of securing a conviction ahead of the 2024 election.

Trump's legal team, conversely, argued that they should be allowed to appeal Judge Tanya Chutkan's denial of the former president's immunity claim through the traditional channels, something which would almost certainly push the trial date back to a significant degree.

Smith's ambitions, however, were effectively thwarted by the justices, as George Washington Law professor and Fox News contributor Jonathan Turley noted soon after their decision was announced.

Turley weighed in on the situation during an appearance on Fox News, suggesting that Smith took a real gamble in seeking expedited review, and ultimately came out the loser.

“[H]e was willing to give up what many assumed would be a favorable decision in order to maximize a favorable calendar,” Turley began, referencing what was likely to be a friendly reception in the appeals court.

The frequent on-air commentator went on, articulating what will occur once Trump takes his appeal to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals “Now, what happens now is not going to work as planned for Jack Smith. Once they hear this case in January, they have to write the opinion. They'll do that as quickly as possible.”

“Trump people can do an appeal en banc,” Turley added, seeming to assume that the initial appeal will result in an unfavorable ruling in respect to the former president.

That means, as Turley noted, “to ask the court as a whole to look at this question before they appeal to the Supreme Court.”

“That will take time, and then if they en banc accept the case, then he'll never see a March trial,” Turley continued.

At that point, the noted legal scholar stated of Smith's heavy lift, “the Trump people can apply to the Supreme Court. So there's a lot of runway now between him and that March date that he's got to be able to cross.”

“And the odds are he's not going to be able to stick the landing,” Turley declared of the special counsel.

Turley reminded listeners about the current state of the case against Trump, “Keep in mind everything has been frozen in D.C. There's a lot of work that still has to be done for the trial. So as soon as all of this is done, it's got to go back to the court, and they've got to decide what they have time for in terms of that trial.”

“So the odds if you are going to Vegas right now are not on Jack Smith for a March trial,” Turley added, making it clear that Friday's outcome was a veritable home run for Trump and his team.