Presidential Immunity And The Second Revolutionary War

By David W. Marshall

(Trice Edney Wire – There are times when leaders from the past can be very prophetic in their words, and we should take heed of their warnings. Ulysses S. Grant is most known as the commanding general who led the Union Army to victory over the Confederates during the Civil War. As a war hero driven by a sense of patriotic duty, he broke ranks with then-President Andrew Johnson over Reconstruction policies and ran for president. Grant, who became president in 1869, was a progressive Republican in line with Abraham Lincoln. As the 18th president, Grant stabilized the post-war national economy; supported the Fifteenth Amendment, which protects voting rights; vigorously enforced civil and voting rights for Blacks; and prosecuted the Ku Klux Klan.

He was an effective civil rights executive who appointed Black Americans and Jewish Americans to prominent positions in the federal government while signing the bill creating the Justice Department. He effectively worked with other radical Republicans in protecting Black Americans during Reconstruction. During a speech in Des Moines, Iowa, Grant stated that “if we are to have another contest in the near future of our national existence, I predict that the dividing line will not be Mason & Dixon … but between patriotism and intelligence on the one side and superstition, ambition, and ignorance on the other.”

In 1875, the president of the United States accurately predicted the political climate in 2024. Grant’s prophecy has become more evident with the recent Supreme Court ruling giving immunity to the U.S. president, thereby creating a monarchy. The “contest” Grant is referencing has become the 2024 presidential election. We hear so much about a second Civil War in our nation. What we really need is a second Revolutionary War to save what is left of our American democracy.

As America celebrated the 248th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, our nation has come full circle. During the summer of 1776, colonists celebrated the birth of America’s independence by holding mock funerals for Great Britain’s King George III as a symbolic end of the monarch’s hostile grip on America. Our nation fought and won a Revolutionary War, which served as an outright resistance and rejection of having a monarch lead the country. As the 6-3 supermajority on the Supreme Court determined that presidents and former presidents have broad immunity from criminal prosecution for “official acts” while in office, it changed everything.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor explained, with its decision in the immunity case, the court’s majority “makes a mockery of the principle, foundational to our Constitution and system of government that no man is above the law.” Sotomayor continued, “The relationship between the President and the people he serves has shifted irrevocably. In every use of official power, the President is now a king above the law.” Sotomayor’s sad and alarming assessment is compounded by former Justice Department officials who served under Donald Trump during his first term. Two former Justice Department officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the ruling would embolden Trump. They said it would give him cover to improperly pressure the Justice Department for his own political benefit—to prosecute an enemy or go easy on an ally—by saying he was executing his official duties as president. “It gives him tacit approval to keep doing it,” said a former official when referring to the Supreme Court ruling. “It sets him up to do the things he has said: to investigate people and send them to jail.”

The damage is done. The former president is totally insulated from criminal prosecution. The court has essentially opened the door for Donald Trump to return to the White House and become the authoritarian dictator he always wanted to be. When a more powerful Trump speaks of terminating the Constitution to overturn the 2020 election, we should believe that he will make all efforts to undermine the rights protected under the Constitution. We should believe him when he says he will call for a televised military tribunal for former Republican Rep. Liz Cheney and the jailing of top elected officials, including President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. He should be believed when he speaks of using the Justice Department as a weapon to go after political opponents, including members of his own Republican Party. When Grant’s administration created the Justice Department, it was not intended to persecute true patriots like himself, who fought for the freedom of all American citizens. It was never intended for a U.S. president to directly interfere with the functioning of the Justice Department through public attacks or intimidation of its prosecutors.

The dividing line Grant spoke about concerning our national existence is even clearer now. On one side of the line are those having the patriotism and intelligence to passionately oppose a convicted felon who will abuse his power to the detriment of the people and nation. On the other side, it’s the opposite: Those with hypocrisy, ambition, and ignorance who passionately support a convicted felon to be a future dictator. This fight is our new Revolutionary War. The only ones who can stop King Donald I from power are the uncommitted, apathetic, and uninformed citizens who must decide which side of the line they will cross.

David W. Marshall is the founder of the faith-based organization TRB: The Reconciled Body and author of the book God Bless Our Divided America.