July 27, 2022 Brief in James Blassingame & Sidney Hemby v. Donald Trump
It is settled law that the President of the United States is absolutely immune from civil liability for actions “predicated on his official acts.” Fitzgerald, 457 U.S. at 749. The Supreme Court has stressed that the President “occupies a unique position in the constitutional scheme,” id., and that private lawsuits against the President raise “unique risks to the effective functioning of government.” Id. at 751. These risks are heightened by the reality—never more true than today—that the President “must concern himself with matters likely to ‘arouse the most intense feelings.’” Id. at 752 (citing Pierson v. Ray, 386 U.S. 547, 554 (1982)). The “sheer prominence of the President’s office” and “the effect of his actions on countless people” make the President “an easily identifiable target for suits for civil damages.” Id. at 752–53. Because “[c]ognizance of this personal vulnerability frequently could distract a President from [his public] duties, to the detriment of not only the President and his office but also the Nation that the Presidency was designed to serve,” id. at 753, the President has “absolute  immunity from damages liability.” Id. at 756.
Although the opposing parties spent a lot of time explaining why President Trump’s tweets and speech on an obvious matter of public concern should not receive presidential immunity, their arguments run headfirst into a fatal flaw: they are struggling against an obvious use of the president’s bully pulpit—well within the outer perimeter of a president’s official duties. The strength of their feelings on the subjects he was discussing do not overcome Fitzgerald’s determination that civil suits against the President for actions within the expansive scope of his official functions are immune.
CONCLUSION & RELIEF SOUGHT – President Trump is shielded by absolute presidential immunity because his statements were on matters of public concern and therefore well within the scope of the robust absolute immunity afforded all presidents. No amount of hyperbole about the violence of January 6, 2021, provides a basis for this Court to carve out an exception to the constitutional separation of powers. Indeed, the very fact that the event is so emotionally charged and controversial makes it more important than ever to reject this attempt to undermine absolute immunity. The decision of the district court should be reversed, and this matter should be remanded with instructions that President Trump be dismissed as a defendant.
submitted by /u/Quidfacis_