Ex-DHS chief calls Supreme Court immunity ruling a ‘setback to our constitutional order’

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Ex-DHS chief calls Supreme Court immunity ruling a ‘setback to our constitutional order’

Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said Tuesday that the recent ruling by the Supreme Court on presidential immunity is a “setback to our constitutional order.”

“This is, to me, an unbelievable decision,” Johnson said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “And, in my view, it’s a setback to our constitutional order.”

Monday’s 6-3 decision by the nation’s highest court found central presidential powers have immunity from criminal prosecution. The ruling split the justices along ideological lines, with the liberals on the court pushing back against the decision.

“I took constitutional law 45 years ago,” Johnson said in his appearance on “Morning Joe.” “And, I think I must have missed the lesson where my teacher said, ‘There’s this provision in the Constitution that says, “Presidents have criminal immunity from criminal liability.”’”

The Supreme Court’s ruling on presidential immunity came as a victory for former President Trump and sent back his federal case over efforts to overturn the election four years ago to a lower court. 

“BIG WIN FOR OUR CONSTITUTION AND DEMOCRACY. PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN!” Trump said on Truth Social shortly after the release of the decision.

President Biden decried the immunity decision Monday, referring to it as a “dangerous precedent.”

“For all practical purposes, today’s decision almost certainly means that there are virtually no limits on what a president can do. It’s a fundamentally new principle,” Biden said in White House remarks. “It’s a dangerous precedent, because the power of the office will no longer be constrained by the law, even including the Supreme Court of the United States.”

“The only limits will be self-imposed by the president alone,” he added.

The Hill has reached out to the Supreme Court.