Summer Zervos v Donald Trump, the long road

Trump’s lawyers have appealed the NY State Supreme court decision that the defamation suit brought by Summer Zervos would continue to be heard, to the Appellate Court.  Based in large part to the issues surrounding the Supremacy Clause.

I was originally of the opinion the case would certainly be heard, but stayed until after Trump’s presidency, however that may occur, because of the Supremacy Clause.  Judge Schecter had ruled that the proceedings would not interfere with Trump’s abilities to carry out his presidential duties.  That decision was extremely important and has many ramifications for this and future Presidents.  Trump’s lawyers have appealed this decision.

They will continue to seek to have the case thrown out or alternately stayed.  They have also invoked what I dub as the “Spicy Rhetoric” clause of the First Amendment, which seems to imply that Trump can’t be held accountable for any of the idiot things he says, for various reasons.

Trump is arguing this stance on the First Amendment right of free speech, despite the fact that Zervos’ original public statement was not merely a vigorous expression of free speech, but a specific allegation of criminal offense.  To Zervos’ claim of sexual abuse, Trump responded with a threat of a lawsuit and a public declaration that Zervos, among others, was a liar.  Trump’s lawyers could, however, claim that all public statements that Trump makes should be dismissed as not representing an assertion of facts or honest intentions, as he is more of a performer than either a politician or a President.  Therefore, I am suggesting Trump’s lawyers could argue that he always lies, and any claim that he is responsible for his public statements, should be dismissed as in conflict with an obvious and generally accepted reality.

That should, and may well be, something near the end-game his lawyers may argue to throw this case out.  Trump always lies.  That’s his shtick.

Judge Schecter has guided both parties to make continued filing with her court for this month and has set a time limit for the possible and eventual return of the case to her court, depending on what the appellate court decides, to a time described as some unspecified part of the “September 2018 term.”

In other words, this shit is going to go on forever.  No matter what, it will be really interesting to see how the appellate court decides to handle the Supremacy Clause.  That is very important.  As it stands right now, any other persons considering filing similar complaints, after further consideration, may decide to wait.  This case could very well find it’s way to the US Supreme Court where the judges, although not particularly interested in getting involved, would certainly understand this is a case they cannot avoid.  They have to revisit the Clinton v Jones case that decided a sitting President could in fact face a civil case during his term.

Although the Court was unanimous in it’s original and reasonable opinion that a sitting President could face federal civil trial so long as it would not interfere with his duties, they had to know their purposeful avoidance of extending this to State courts and purposeful avoidance of whether a sitting President’s compulsion to testify was guaranteed, meant that eventually some case would absolutely find it’s way back to them for clarification.

I explained Trump’s lawyers original argument against this case being heard in State court here, which is the very reason why the US Supreme Court wanted to avoid declaring an opinion on the subject.

“The primary objections of State’s ability to even hear the case of a sitting President because of the Supremacy Clause, which forbids a civil case against the President except for in exceptions like Clinton vs Jones at a federal level, makes sense to me.  The stated references to that case, give weight to the concern of the possibility of states taking up such cases, purportedly as a powerful weapon via frivolous, time-consuming lawsuits that even states themselves could concoct via differences in state and federal law.”


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