Supreme Court will hear arguments in Trump's appeal against Jan. 6 criminal charges

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments in Donald Trump’s appeal of a lower court decision rejecting his claim of "absolute immunity" that would allow him to avoid facing criminal charges. 

The justices will take up the matter during the week of April 22 and a decision is likely by June as the Court appears set to fast track the case.

In a statement, the court said that it will consider "whether and if so to what extent does a former President enjoy presidential immunity from criminal prosecution for conduct alleged to involve official acts during his tenure in office."


The case is based on Trump’s sweeping claims of that he should have presidential immunity in all suits related to the Jan. 6 Capitol riots. The Supreme Court has previously upheld that presidential immunity should apply to civil cases but Trump’s lawyers argue that it should extend to criminal cases as well.

RELATED: Trump asserts 'absolute immunity' in civil suits around Jan. 6 actions

Trump is facing four felony counts in connection to the insurrection, including conspiracy to defraud the United States and obstruction. He pleaded not guilty to the charges last year.

His criminal trial date was originally set for March 4 but was put on pause when he began efforts to get the charges dismissed. It remains in limbo as the Supreme Court awaits arguments. 

The decision to hear Trump's latest appeal comes as voters await another Supreme Court opinion on whether the former president could be kicked off of the ballot in Colorado. 

That case went before the Court earlier this month after Trump appealed a ruling from the Colorado Supreme Court stating that he was ineligible for the presidency because he violated a Constitutional amendment that bars anyone who swore an oath to the Constitution and "engaged in insurrection" from holding public office.

After hearing the arguments, the majority of the justices seemed dubious about Colorado’s claim that Trump should not be an option at the polls in their state due to his actions leading up to and during the 2021 riots. 

If the court rules to keep Trump off of the ballot, it would essentially be the end of his presidential run, not only because the ruling would apply to all states, but it would also signal that the federal government does, indeed, believe Jan. 6 was an insurrection. A ruling in favor of Trump would also end efforts in Colorado, Maine and elsewhere to keep his name off the ballot.

The court hasn’t provided a timetable for their ruling but they did agree to expedite this case. Trump remains on the ballot until the appeal is done.

The cases have added to an already tense election cycle, particularly because Trump is the presumed Republican candidate after opponent Nikki Haley took another hard loss in the primaries in her home state of South Carolina.