Background Briefing: July 1, 2024

In the Service of a President Convicted of Crimes, the Supreme Court Allows Presidents to Commit Crimes 

We begin with the Supreme Court’s final ruling on Monday, a 6 to 3 ruling granting “absolute immunity” to Donald Trump from prosecution for “official acts” after giving him months of delay by taking up the case in the first place which most legal scholars thought was unnecessary. Joining us to discuss how American presidents can now commit crimes because of a ruling designed to help a former president now convicted of crimes is Lisa Gilbert, the Vice President of Legislative Affairs at Public Citizen where she advocates for government transparency and integrity, financial reform, civil justice and consumer protection. She has testified before Congress and is a contributor to the Hill and back in April Public Citizen submitted an Amicus Brief to the Supreme Court in the appropriately-named case of Trump Versus the United States.


Hope in Dark Times as Many Americans Reel From the One-Two Punch of Biden’s Debate Performance and Today’s Supreme Court Ruling

Then we speak with Jeremi Suri, who holds the Mack Brown Distinguished Chair for Leadership in Global Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin, where he is a professor of history and public affairs. He is the co-host of the podcast “This is Democracy” and the author and editor of a number of books including The Impossible Presidency: The Rise and Fall of America’s Highest Office, Henry Kissinger and the American Century and most recently, Civil War by Other Means: America’s Long and Unfinished Fight for Democracy. He has an article at his Substack which we discuss, “Hope in Dark Times” which offers a way forward as many Americans are reeling from the one-two punch of Biden’s debate performance and today’s Supreme Court ruling.


Alarming Gains by the French Far Right as the Left and Center Maneuver to Block a Neo-Fascist Takeover of Parliament

Then finally we get an expert opinion of French politics following Sunday’s election that saw the far-right National Rally make alarming gains ahead of next Sunday’s second round election which now has parties on the left maneuvering to overcome their fractious divisions to unite with the center to block a takeover of parliament by a neo-fascist party posing as champions of white working people being displaced by brown and black immigrants. Joining us is Philippe Marlière, a professor of French and European politics at University College, London. He was awarded the Marcel Liebman Chair in political science by the Université Libre de Bruxelles and his main publications are about the French Socialist Party, French politics and European social democracy.