Speaker Johnson Wants SCOTUS to “Step In” on Trump Verdict

An execrable assertion.

[Speaker of the House Mike Johnson]

Axios reports: Johnson urges Supreme Court to “step in” on Trump verdict.

“There’s a lot of developments yet to come, but I do believe the Supreme Court should step in, obviously, this is totally unprecedented,” Johnson said Friday in an appearance on Fox and Friends.

While I fully recognize partisan posturing when I see it, this all really beyond the pale in a host of ways. Johnson is Speaker of the House and knows full well that SCOTUS cannot simply “step in” into a state case that hasn’t even been sentenced yet, let alone one wherein there has not yet been even a first level appeal. This is made worse by his noting (see the linked clip) that he is an attorney, and so is allegedly making an expert assertion. Indeed, his entire assessment of the trial as being nothing but politics is both predictable and more than a little nauseating.

Worse, one of the FNC hosts had the gall to complain that the appeals process takes too long (Johnson concurred) and that the American people have the right to have all this settled before the election! I am sure he has the sam view of the January 6th case that SCOTUS had effectively held up and the documents case that Judge Cannon seems to want to drag out as long as possible.

Johnson’s performance is truly something to behold.

FILED UNDER: 2024 Election, US Politics,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Kathy says:

    Imagine if Merchan imposes even a short jail sentence. Johnson will be clamoring for the Army to storm the prison to liberate his dear fuhrer.

    If making law is as ugly as making sausage, playing to the base is as ugly as butchering the pig.

  2. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    Is it fair to assume that the budget/aid to Ukraine bill was a one-off now, or are we still assuming that Johnson understands bipartisanship and is someone “we can work with?”

  3. Gustopher says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: It may be an issue-by-issue thing.

    And his reputation as “someone we can work with” was in comparison to McCarthy.

    Johnson may hold positions, and not promise things he cannot deliver and/or has no intention of delivering. Which is definitely not how anyone would describe McCarthy.

  4. Gustopher says:

    What does it take for the Bar Association to get involved? Is there any ethical requirement for lawyers to not spread legal misinformation outside the courtroom?

    (Would he make his own Bar Association, like how Rand Paul made his own optometry board?)

  5. Jen says:

    @Gustopher: This is an important question that I would love to see answered.

    I have seen comments from MULTIPLE members of congress who are attorneys and know (or damn well should know) that what they are saying is wrong. They are lying to, and misleading the public.

    Where is the Bar Association?

  6. Michael Reynolds says:

    An entire party that wants to subordinate women, and yet not a man among them.

  7. MarkedMan says:

    From various interviews I gather that Republicans of all stripes are spitting mad. This is 100% to be expected. When you have no leg to stand on, when you can’t look what you’ve become in the mirror, the natural impulse is to get angry. Anger is a completely outward emotion and removes all introspection, which is critical for them now. Above all things, they cannot look at themselves honestly in this moment. Bible thumpers often celebrate “righteous anger” but it almost always indicates you are acting in a way your more rational self would never allow.

  8. Barry says:

    Johnson plays the meek, mild ‘Christian’, but in the end he does his best to help the Right with *everything*.

    I don’t know the name, but think of a top Nazi official involved in the Holocaust who seemed to be a mild, self-effacing schoolteacher and your minister, in his spare time from writing policies on mass murder.

  9. Kathy says:


    “Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.”

    And of those bent on imposing minority rule.

  10. The Q says:

    How does Trump have such a grip on the overwhelmingly feckless male GOP Reps?

    Simple, he grabs them by their P!

  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    had the gall to complain that the appeals process takes too long

    I absolutely agree! Lock that MFin’ pos up! Now! RIGHT NOW NOW NOW!!!!

    Oh, wait a minute, whadya mean the American judicial system doesn’t work like that?

  12. Eusebio says:

    In line with a comment on the previous thread that it’s hilarious watching the RW media reactions to the conviction, I watched Fox News for a few minutes yesterday evening. The host ridiculed what was being said on MSNBC and played a clip of MSNBC contributor Andrew Weissmann saying “there’s some thought that the Supreme Court may have been waiting for this verdict, and we will see if that is an explanation” (for the delay in the Jan 6 case). The Fox host then said Wiessmann says a lot of dopey things and something about the fever dreams those people have. But then the host passed it to a Fox contributor who said “the Judge Merchan show trial is the strongest evidence to buttress Trump’s claim… in the Supreme Court that presidents need immunity.”

    So it seems that the MSNBC and Fox contributors actually agreed that SCOTUS might consider the NY documents fraud case as they address Trump’s Jan 6 and Immunity cases. Johnson put it a little differently this morning… SCOTUS intervene directly in the NY case.

  13. Scott O says:

    Absolutely shameful. This is the kind of stuff that really worries me. Trump could die tomorrow but the Republican party will continue it’s decent into madness.

    Forget the ambiguities of the charges in this trial, Trump fucked a porn star and covered it up, h/t Kevin Drum. Does Speaker Johnson doubt that? Is that kind of behavior ok with good Christian Mike Johnson?

  14. Scott F. says:

    I don’t mean to disparage Steven’s post, but words such as “excerable,” “beyond the pale,” “worse,” ”a little nauseating,” “gall,” “truly something to behold” all seem far too generous to describe what the Speaker of the House (fergawdsakes!) is doing here. The dereliction of his duty as an attorney and legislator to speak truthfully about the law is evil.

  15. DK says:

    @Scott O:

    Forget the ambiguities of the charges in this trial

    This I do not understand.

    Did Trump falsify business records? Yes. This is a crime.

    Did he do so to hide an election-related payment, in violation of New York campaign finance law? Yes. Campaign contributions have to be truthfully disclosed — certainly a $130,000 one.

    The deliberation was short because evidence of these crimes, including reams of documentation, was incontrovertible.

    The legal commentators insisting this is all vague and confusing seem unable to admit they were wrong about DA Bragg and his case from the beginning. Being wrong is embarrassing, but not the end of the world. Attorneys do not like it tho.

  16. DrDaveT says:

    @Scott O:

    Is that kind of behavior ok with good Christian Mike Johnson?

    When Mike Johnson reads the gospels, it’s pretty clear who he roots for. It ain’t that hippy libtard Jesus.

  17. Scott O says:

    @DK: I guess I was a bit ambiguous. I should have said “Forget what his supporters say about the supposed ambiguities of the charges in this trial, Trump fucked a porn star and covered it up”.

  18. Franklin says:

    @Scott O:

    … the Republican party will continue it’s decent into madness

    *descent*, because there’s nothing decent about the modern Republican party

  19. DrDaveT says:

    @Scott O:

    I should have said “Forget what his supporters say about the supposed ambiguities of the charges in this trial, Trump fucked a porn star and covered it up”.

    Sure, but that’s not a crime. The crime was how he paid the hush money, and lied about it. As others have noted, if he had simply paid her out of his own pocket*, he’d have been safe.

    *Assuming he could. I’m beginning to wonder whether Trump has any money of his own at all.

  20. just nutha says:

    @DrDaveT: Trump? Money? Good question!

  21. Scott O says:

    @Franklin: Typo, my bad, agree.

    @DrDaveT: Sure but what will stick in the minds of most people, that he violated stature whatever of section something or the porn star fucking business?

    I feel I have to add, I don’t mean in any way to be criticizing porn stars or Stormy Daniels in particular. Whatever consenting adults do in private is none of my concern.

    But once upon a time I thought this kind of stuff was a big deal to Republicans.

  22. Paine says:

    What really concerns me at the moment is a real lack of secession talk from conservatives. Back when Obama was president there was a lot of such chatter, but much less now. It’s as if they know they are on the brink of locking in minority rule and don’t want to give the blue states any ideas. They just need to bide their time and all will be theirs.

  23. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Scott O:

    But once upon a time I thought this kind of stuff was a big deal to Republicans.

    So did I, but back then I also believed that Reagan really wanted to make government smaller and fully fund the programs that Congress agreed to support except in times of recession. Now that I realize that I’m the only one who believed in any of that stuff, my life is simpler. (On the downside of this enlightenment, it doesn’t particularly matter to me which brand of deficit spenders wins in any given years. Being white contributes to my ennui, though.)

  24. Jay L Gischer says:

    I want to note that yes, this is very performative. Which means it has nothing to do whatsoever with any legislation. It’s meant to reassure Republican voters, many of whom are hard-core MAGA, that he’s on their side. That’s all it means.

    His opinion on the matter does not matter. It will never come before him. I’m sure that if you parse it out carefully, you will find he hasn’t even uttered any counterfactuals.

    What matters is that it appears that he, unlike Kevin McCarthy (and Trump), will bargain with other legislators and the President in good faith. That really does matter.

    Note that I am saying something quite specific not a blanket, ”what a great guy!”


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