Federal appeals court denies Trump request to delay E. Jean Carroll defamation case over immunity claim News
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Federal appeals court denies Trump request to delay E. Jean Carroll defamation case over immunity claim

A three-judge panel for the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit denied former US President Donald Trump’s motion to stay the defamation case against him, brought by author E. Jean Carroll, while the US Supreme Court considers his immunity claim. Trump also sought to stay the case to consider other appellate options. The Second Circuit’s decision comes after Trump was previously struck down by a US federal judge in August on the same motion.

In a single-page order, the Second Circuit denied Trump’s request, allowing the trial to continue as scheduled. The case is the second civil trial against Trump by Carroll. In an earlier ruling, a jury found Trump liable for sexual abuse and defamation and awarded the author $5 million in damages. The cases stem from allegations by Carroll that Trump raped her in a New York department store in the mid-1990s. Now, Carroll is suing Trump again for defamation with a trial date scheduled to determine the amount owed by the former president. She claims that Trump damaged her reputation by saying that she falsified the incident.

In asking for a 90-day delay to the January 2024 trial, Trump’s attorney Michael Madaio argued that the continuation of the case amounts to a violation of Trump’s constitutional rights. Madaio also argued that it “upend[s] a longstanding rule that lower courts are divested of jurisdiction for the pendency of an immunity-related appeal” if the requested stay is denied.

Carroll’s lawyers responded to Trump’s request by finding an “undue and highly prejudicial delay in raising immunity.” They also point to the “mistaken contentions” about Nixon v. Fitzgerald, a case Trump has used to support his claims of immunity. In that case, the Supreme Court issued immunity to former US President Richard Nixon for actions he undertook in his official capacity as president.

Earlier this month, a panel of judges for the Second Circuit issued an initial rejection of Trump’s immunity defense, determining that it was too late to make the argument because he did not invoke such a claim at the initial proceedings issued by Carroll in 2019.

The trial is scheduled to commence on January 16, 2024.