Pesky SCOTUS Might Thwart Biden Again: “Federal Obstruction” Claims May Fall Apart 

bangoland /
bangoland /

There’s a reason the Democratic Party despises and fears the Supreme Court of the United States. The highest court in the land is tasked with demystifying, decoding, and interpreting that most sacred founding document, the U.S. Constitution, an institution of its own. Over and over again, SCOTUS keeps both parties in check by explaining what the document means and how it can be used, or not used, to further political agendas.  

But Democrats have noticed a trend lately – nearly every strategy they invent has constitutional repercussions they hoped would never see the light of day. 

From abortion to student loan “forgiveness,” President Joe Biden and his band of merry progressives have faced an insurmountable obstacle. Those pesky SCOTUS Justices won’t sit down and shut up. 

The latest case in point is the SCOTUS case Fischer v. United States, which involves the definition of federal obstruction. The case could implode Special Council Jack Smith’s ongoing persecution of former President Donald Trump and remove a few of his carefully orchestrated strategies from the “criminal charges” playlist. 

There are currently 300 people awaiting trial for “obstruction of an official proceeding” during the January 6 riots. Make that 301, since Smith plans to use it as an additional bludgeon in his Trump legal battle when it finally gets scheduled. 

The SCOTUS decision will impact all 301 of them.  

On the surface, Jeffrey Green, an attorney for one of those charged with obstruction, faced an uphill battle. The DOJ came out of the gate strong, insisting that Green’s client, Joseph Fischer, violated a statute that criminalizes attempts to “obstruct, influence, or impede any official proceeding.” If given the maximum penalty, he could face 20 years in prison. 

But after the flawless start, things quickly fell apart for the DOJ. Justice Neil Gorsuch questioned whether specific actions, like heckling during the State of the Union address or diverting a House vote by pulling a fire alarm, would qualify as “obstruction.” Deputy Solicitor General Prelogar responded that such actions might not meet the criteria for obstruction under the law, as they would require “meaningful interference” and “corrupt intent.” 

But this, warns legal experts, allows a lot of context and freedom for an unequal application of the statute.  

Chief Justice John Roberts asked Prelogar about a 2019 opinion from the DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), which advises the department and other agencies. The opinion suggested a narrow interpretation of the obstruction statute, conflicting with the DOJ’s current stance in this case. Prelogar mentioned that the opinion was never officially adopted, but she couldn’t clarify the DOJ’s process for formally adopting an OLC paper. 

Legal expert Jonathan Turley noted that the DOJ has been attempting to downplay valid points raised by the Justices. “Time and time again, when pushed to the wall, the government would simply shrug off the contradiction. That’s not going to work with these justices,” Turley noted. 

Carrie Severino, a former clerk for Justice Clarence Thomas and president of the Judicial Crisis Network, pointed out that during the hearings, the government struggled to justify how their argument wouldn’t lead to a broad interpretation, potentially encompassing protected First Amendment activities like peaceful protests. Severino cautioned against such a “draconian response” could result in disproportionate punishments, such as a 20-year prison sentence, for activities that shouldn’t warrant such severe consequences. 

There’s a lot at stake for Smith and Team Biden’s legal strategy to keep Trump off the campaign trail and malign his character ahead of the 2024 election. An unfavorable ruling will effectively derail Smith’s premise that Trump willfully “obstructed” a federal proceeding. 

If the justices rule in favor of Fischer, Smith will be forced to drop the two obstruction counts against Trump. These counts allowed Smith to portray the president’s remarks as part of a conspiracy to obstruct the vote count. Removing these counts would complicate Smith’s narrative because they emphasized the former president’s alleged effort to obstruct the proceedings. 

Smith’s path forward in Trump’s obstruction case isn’t clear. SCOTUS may not rule on the case until the summer, which will not allow the case to be settled before the election. And the longer Smith drags it out, the less voters care. Team Biden’s legal weaponization and smear strategy relied on each case progressing along the manufactured timeline. 

SCOTUS and the Constitution are the last lines of defense between Americans and the unhinged Biden administration. It’s no wonder Democrats want to stack the court – it’s the only thing standing between them and their desire for raw, unchecked power.