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Should Former Presidents Be Generally Immune to Prosecution for Official Acts Made in Office?

19% yes
81% no

Former president Donald Trump was indicted in 2022 for his role in the January 2021 attack at the Capitol. However, he has maintained that under the Constitution, former presidents are immune to prosecution for official acts made in office. The case has now reached the Supreme Court, whose decision will have lasting impacts on what powers and privileges the president has. 

Those who argue that former presidents should be generally immune to prosecution for official acts made in office argue that doing so will ensure stability in our governing system. They argue that allowing for the prosecution of former president will create the potential for political opponents to bring numerous lawsuits against former presidents once they leave office. They claim this will hamper the president from having confidence in taking the actions needed to uphold the duties of the office of the presidency. They argue that allowing for prosecution could lead to a back and forth where parties constantly find frivolous lawsuits to bring against former presidents, which will weaken trust and faith in our government. 

Those who argue that former presidents should not be generally immune to prosecution for official acts made in office argue that allowing this policy could lead to presidents freely taking illegal action without fear of prosecution later. They argue that if partisanship prevents the impeachment and removal from office of a president, the court system must have the ability to hold men and women accountable after their term is finished.  

So, what do you think? Should Former Presidents Be Generally Immune to Prosecution for Official Acts Made in Office? Students can answer Yes, they should be; No, they should not be; or a nuanced answer in-between! Be sure to submit your responses by May 23rd to be considered for this week’s contest.

 


Note: Ideal Think the Vote responses include the following:      

  • Address the question asked in a thoughtful and meaningful manner     
  • Use cited facts and constitutional arguments when appropriate to support their answers      
  • Are expressed in cohesive sentences and are free of distracting spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors      
  • They address counterarguments and opposing concerns in a respectful manner      
  • They organize their answer in a manner that flows logically and reads clearly   

JOIN THE DEBATE BELOW FOR A CHANCE TO WIN A $1,000 CASH SCHOLARSHIP! 

For this question, BRI will be giving away two $25 gift cards, one to each person providing the best defense of each side of the debate. Both students will also win BRI swag. Each student winner will also be entered for a chance to win a grand prize of a $1,000 cash scholarship. Additionally, the referring teachers for both students will each win a $25 gift card and BRI swag. 

This question will run from 5/9/24 to 5/23/24, so be sure to submit your answers in time to be considered for our prizes! 

(For rules/regulations click HERE) 


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