Supreme Court rejects prosecutor’s request, will not rule on Trump immunity yet

The United States Supreme Court denied on Friday to hear former President Donald Trump’s assertion that he cannot be jailed for attempting to reverse his 2020 election setback, allowing a lower court to continue hearing the case.

Refusing an unprecedented request by U.S. Special Counsel Jack Smith, the justices decided to essentially bypass a lower appeals court in order to expedite a final verdict on Trump’s claim of criminal immunity ahead of his March trial.

The court issued its decision without explanation in a brief one-page order. No justice publicly dissented. The justices could still decide to consider the issue later.

A federal appeals court in Washington has fast-tracked its consideration of the issue, and scheduled oral arguments for Jan. 9.

In a statement to supporters, Trump labeled the Supreme Court decision as a victory but added “I will still have to fight for my rights in the Appeals Court.”

Prosecutors have accused Trump, the frontrunner for the 2024 Republican president nomination, of attempting to obstruct Congress and defraud the U.S. government through schemes to reverse Democratic President Joe Biden’s 2020 election win.

Trump has argued that the case should be dismissed on the grounds that former presidents cannot face criminal charges for conduct related to their official responsibilities.

U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan rejected that claim on Dec. 1, prompting Trump’s appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Trump’s appeal suspended his trial, currently set for March.

In a bid to avoid delaying Trump’s trial, Smith on Dec. 11 urged the Supreme Court to undertake an expedited ruling – even as the D.C. Circuit court races to rule on the issue.

If Trump is reelected to the White House on Nov. 5, he could seek to pardon himself of any federal crimes.

Trump’s lawyers opposed Smith’s request, telling the justices in a court filing the special counsel’s bid to bypass the normal appellate process amounted to a “rush to decide the issues with reckless abandon.”

Three of the nine Supreme Court justices were appointed by Trump, who cemented a 6-3 conservative majority.

Safeguarding India women wrestlers may be key to federation’s return

The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI), battling a sexual harassment scandal, may need to safeguard women wrestlers to get its suspension lifted, the game’s global governing body said on Saturday.

The Wrestling Federation of India was suspended by the United World Wrestling (UWW) in August after failing to hold its election on time.

The UWW had asked for a fresh election after the WFI’s then-president, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, a lawmaker from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party, was charged with sexual harassment and criminal intimidation.

Singh has denied wrongdoing and is out on bail, but the victory of a candidate he backed as his successor in Thursday’s election has triggered fresh protest.

Sakshi Malik, a top woman wrestler quit the game in protest, while male wrestler and fellow Olympic medallist Bajrang Punia retunred one of India’s highest civilian awards.

“Conditions to address the concerns about safeguarding could also be requested,” a UWW spokesperson said, when asked about the possibility of lifting the suspension on the WFI.

“We are still gathering feedback from representatives onsite to determine if the conduct of the election was valid and well organised,” the spokesperson said by email.

“Before we can lift the suspension, we need to receive the official information from the national federation and the confirmation by the NOC (National Olympic Committee) and the Ministry of Sports.”

Wrestlers staged a sit-in protest against Singh in New Delhi and had to be talked out of their plans to throw their medals into the River Ganges in May.

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Sydney Okafor

I am so passionate about this my profession as a broadcast journalist and voiceover artists and presently a reporter at TV360 Nigeria

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