The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has refused to rehear former President Donald Trump’s defamation case brought by E. Jean Carroll and rejected his plea for immunity.
This decision paves the way for a potential last-ditch effort by Trump to take his case to the U.S. Supreme Court just days before the scheduled trial in Manhattan federal court.
Court of Appeals’ rejection
The appellate court’s rejection of an en banc appeal, where all 13 judges would have reconsidered the case, marks a critical juncture in Trump’s ongoing legal woes.
With no active judge from the Second Circuit advocating for a rehearing, the path to the Supreme Court becomes the final recourse if the former president chooses to pursue his appeal further.
The defamation lawsuit initiated by Carroll stems from her allegations of sexual abuse against Trump, with a federal jury previously awarding her $5 million in damages.
However, the upcoming trial will determine additional compensation for the former president’s denial of Carroll’s sexual assault accusations while he was in office.
The initial trial found Trump liable for sexual abuse under New York’s Adult Survivors Act, as the jury unanimously concluded that he had defamed Carroll by falsely rejecting her claims.
The remaining lawsuit focuses on Trump’s denials during his presidency, and the legal proceedings have been mired in appeals questioning his immunity over statements made to reporters while in office.
Another immunity plea?
Meanwhile, Donald Trump is scheduled to participate in a hearing related to the January 6 election interference in Washington, DC.
Despite Trump signaling a potential Supreme Court petition in December, the clock is ticking as the trial date looms.
U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan has already affirmed Trump’s liability based on the first verdict, leaving the second jury tasked with determining the extent of additional damages in a protracted legal battle with far-reaching implications.
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