Supreme Court May Have to Rule on Trump Groping Claim

Summer Zervos Donald Trump
AP/REX/Shutterstock

Twenty years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously that President Clinton was not immune from a sexual harassment lawsuit brought by Paula Jones.

Now, the nation’s highest court may yet again be drawn into addressing the president’s alleged sexual misconduct. In a court filing Monday, attorneys for President Trump argued that he should be immune from a defamation suit brought by Summer Zervos, a former “Apprentice” contestant who claims Trump groped her at the Beverly Hills Hotel in 2007.

In the Jones case, Clinton’s attorneys argued that the separation-of-powers doctrine under the U.S. Constitution meant that he could not be sued while he was in office for conduct predating his presidency. The court unanimously rejected that claim.

Trump’s attorneys argue that the Jones precedent does not apply to Trump because the Jones case was filed in federal court while Zervos brought her claim in state court in New York.

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Attorney Gloria Allred, who represents Zervos, contends Trump is indeed subject to litigation for his conduct prior to assuming office.

“The United States Supreme Court addressed this legal immunity issue in Clinton v. Jones and determined unanimously that no man is above the law and that includes the president of the United States,” Allred said. “We look forward to arguing this issue in court.”

In their motion, first reported by the Hollywood Reporter, Trump’s lawyers state that they will argue that Trump is immune from the lawsuit under the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution, which provides that federal law supersedes state law.

“As the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly recognized, courts should show great deference to the president and his duties,” attorney Marc E. Kasowitz wrote.

Kasowitz said that Trump will pursue a motion to dismiss the lawsuit or put it on hold for the duration of his presidency. He also argued that all other issues in the case should be put on hold until the immunity question is resolved “and all appeals exhausted.”

In the Jones case, the Supreme Court explicitly did not address whether it would have granted presidential immunity from a lawsuit originating in state court.

“If this case were being heard in a state forum, instead of advancing a separation-of-powers argument, petitioner would presumably rely on federalism and comity concerns, as well as the interest in protecting federal officials from possible local prejudice that underlies the authority to remove certain cases brought against federal officers from a state to a federal court,” wrote Justice John Paul Stevens. “Whether those concerns would present a more compelling case for immunity is a question that is not before us.”

Trump’s motion also requests a 60-day delay in briefing deadlines, in part due to “the President and his staff’s exceptionally busy schedule particularly during his first 100 days in office.”

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  1. John Trapp says:

    She is full of BS, how much did Hillary pay her? Her own cousin calls her a liar as well.

  2. Frances Gasparotto says:

    If it walks like a snake and talks like a snake – it is a snake! This cretin is not and should not be above the law!

  3. Christie A says:

    Someone set up a GoFundme Page. I will (along with about 65,000,000) Americans will chip in!

  4. dmac225 says:

    2 things that cast serious doubt on the validity of Zervos’ claim:
    A) Zervos waited ten years to make this claim. If the incident happened in 2007 why did she not say something prior to Trump being elected President? Plus the statute of limitations is, at most, 7 years on the majority of legal actions.
    B) Zervos is being represented by Gloria Allred, a known fame whore, who has never let things like facts and the truth to dissuade her from carrying forth her crusade to garner as much time in front of TV cameras as she can muster.

    • The Truth says:

      (A) According to depositions, Zervos did confide to family and friends about Trump’s misconduct shortly after the 2007 incident, but she elected to remain publicly silent because she wanted to maintain a professional relationship with Trump to further her business ambitions. Her suit is not based, however, on Trump’s alleged acts of sexual misconduct, but rather on Trump’s 2015 characterization of Zervos and all the other women who accused him of groping them as “liars” and “perpetrators of a hoax.” The suit seeks redress due to Trump’s defamatory damage of Zervos’s reputation, and the inciting incident falls well within any statutory limitation.

      (B) Gloria Allred excels in representing women who have been unlawfully abused by powerful men, and she expertly deploys media coverage to shine a harsh spotlight on presumed offenders. In the majority of Allred’s cases, the defendants choose to settle rather than go to court. The fact that these men so frequently decline to defend themselves — a la Bill O’Reilly — speaks volumes.

      When you describe Allred as a”fame whore” and someone “who has never let thing like facts and the truth from carrying forth her crusade to garner as much time in front of TV cameras as she can muster,” you’re actually describing Donald Trump.

  5. Bill B. says:

    He’s such a vile pig.

  6. Cath says:

    He can’t appear. He needs that time to play golf.

  7. Leave Trump alone. People should grip about Muslim gropers. They don’t care about us. Trump cares.

    • Lisa says:

      Trump cares, about himself. A man who does not even have the self-control to keep himself from groping, doesn’t care about anyone but himself.
      Groping is wrong no matter who does it. Really, what a man-boy is doing is saying ‘Hey, I can’t attract that woman to me in a normal fashion so I will just take my hands and invade her privacy. ‘ A grown man does not have to grope.

      • The Truth says:

        Have you been living under a rock, dmac? Trump bragged to Billy Bush that he groped women. It’s on tape. Is that verifiable enough, or does the Groper in Chief need to be caught in the act to convince you.

      • dmac225 says:

        Lisa please provide one verifiable instance of Trump actually groping anyone.

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