In yet another entry by Donald Trump into the “you can’t make this s**t up” file the motion Trump’s lawyers filed with SCOTUS today opened with a well-known Yogi Berra quote. Really. I happened to turn on the news shortly after the filing was posted and I heard pundits talking about how inappropriate it was to open a brief to the United States Supreme Court with a quote from a baseball player. Even a well-known and amiably likeable one like Yankee legend Yogi Berra who was famous for his “Yogi-isms” which were funny as hell much of the time. Anyway, in case you think I’m kidding here’s the actual first line of the filing:
This application is “déjà vu all over again.” Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center,
Trump asking yet another court for yet another delay in legal proceedings against him. Am I the only one who sees the IRONY in using that particular Berra quote? The TV hosts and their legal pundits don’t seem to be mentioning it.
Anyway, let’s cover a couple of things right off the bat. Today’s filing wasn’t the actual Appeal Team Trump says they intend to file, a request for a Writ of Certiorari to consider the ruling issued by the DC Court of Appeals. No, this was a request to stay the DC Circuit’s ruling that unless a stay in proceedings in Trump Jan. 6 related case in DC Circuit Court could start up again. Absent a stay judge Chutkan can get that case rolling again and a trial underway sometime in May.
It only takes four votes for SCOTUS to grant Cert, to agree to hear this (or any) appeal. However it will take five votes for them to issue a stay. Every day they take while deciding whether to issue a stay is another good day for Trump but pundits say there’s no reason why SCOTUS can’t rule on this issue before the end of this week. If they want to. Or, they could take two, three or more weeks. It’s up to them.
So what might happen? It’s not like SCOTUS isn’t already largely up to speed on this case. Jack Smith attempted to get them to take up the case directly back in December even as the appeal to the DC Circuit was playing out. SCOTUS took a look at things and begged off, saying let the appeals court have its turn. Do its thing. However we all knew whatever happened this was going to wind up in front of SCOTUS. Even Vegas wouldn’t have taken bets on that one it was so obvious! But that five day part of the DC Circuit’s ruling effectively saying to Trump the knew he was going to run to SCOTUS but he had five days to do so or the trial clock would start ticking again was huge.
Here’s a link to the Trump filing. You don’t have to read all one hundred plus pages, or more than the first few to see Team Trump is major butt-hurt that the DC Circuit didn’t take months (many, many months. So many months like you’ve never seen) if not years to come to a ruling. Which of course in their view would have been along the lines of Trump is like totally the most persecuted person in the history of the world and everyone involved in trying to prosecute him for his “perfect” actions around Jan. 6 and his “perfect” speech should be ashamed of himself. That mean judge Chutkan is overturned and should be shot for treason.
(If you’re thinking they would want a ruling overturning judge Chutkan right away think again. Smith wouldn’t be able to appeal to SCOTUS with no ruling overturning Chutkan’s. Bottom line is that Team Trump wanted this put off. For a long time. A VERY long time)
I haven’t read the whole thing but it seems from what I have they are tipping their hand on how their actual appeal will read. (Assuming they get to file it. I’ll get to that in a minute)
So what might SCOTUS do? Well, they can give Trump his stay. Allow him time (how much is the question) to craft an actual appeal and you know how long that will drag things out. Interestingly enough, they can also deny Trump’s request for a stay but leave him free to try and appeal the actual ruling by the DC Circuit. All the while that trial clock will be ticking in DC. I gather the experts thinks if this is what SCOTUS does it’s unlikely they will overturn judge Chutkan and the DC Circuit. Rather they will want to put their own stamp on the issue so it doesn’t come up again. (Why they don’t need to is a whole new article)
There’s another option as well, and one I didn’t hear much discussion about. Since I’ve believed from the time SCOTUS denied to take up the appeal Smith filed I think they want no part of this case. They had judge Chutkan’s original ruling and it was “tight” on all the legal issues. Letting it perk up through the appellate process would allow what Team Trump claims hasn’t happened – reasonable time for arguments to be made and review of said arguments. Then, assuming the DC Circuit did what it did by issuing a Per Curiam ruling that blistered Trump’s hiney (and his lawyers too) on every issue they want to toss at the wall in yet ANOTHER appeal take a pass.
They can issue a short order noting they have taken the request for a stay as a a request for Certiorari for appeal and deny both the appeal and the stay in one fell swoop. Sure, there will be outrage from Trump/MAGA but other events will be dominating the news and before long the “blame” will be on the DC Circuit. I still believe SCOTUS wants no part of this. If the freaking request for a stay wasn’t so ridiculously long (and again, it sure reads like an appeal) they could do so tomorrow or Wednesday. But to “make it look good” they will probably take at least until the end of the week. However I think sometime next week we’ll know for sure.
I’ve got my fingers crossed that I’m right and SCOTUS doesn’t want to touch this. Second best is that they’ll take it up but allow things to start back up at the trial level, and toss a hint that’s exactly what they think judge Chutkan should do. But if they grant a stay pending an appeal, even on an “expedited” basis we are looking at a couple of months (at best) delay. Maybe, probably more. And that will be that. No Trump trial in DC before the election.
However, I still think Trump didn’t do himself any favors by having his request for a stay start off with that Yogi Berra quote. And, I don’t think for a second that would have been what happened if Trump hadn’t ordered his lawyers to put that sucker in there.
Deja Vu All Over Again.
Poor Irony. Trump heaps more abuse on Irony than the most sadistic of BDSM Masters/Mistresses. I could be wrong but I don’t think SCOTUS will be amused. Not only that they will feel a bit put out by Trump treating them as buffoons and that’s just what he and his legal team have done. But damn. Given his lifetime of using delay tactics and appealing on the wildest of terms, why isn’t the IRONY of THAT particular quote getting more attention?