Even CNN’s Legal Panel Can’t Deny Trump Is Headed for a Big Supreme Court Victory

Even CNN’s Legal Panel Can’t Deny Trump Is Headed for a Big Supreme Court Victory

Not even CNN can deny reality altogether. But at least we know that the floundering network can still tailor that reality to its liberal audience’s expectations.

On Thursday, host Jake Tapper and a panel of legal experts told their undoubtedly crestfallen viewers that U.S. Supreme Court justices seemed uniformly reluctant to uphold Colorado’s tyrannical presumption that it could disqualify former President Donald Trump from the presidency and thereby remove him from the state’s 2024 presidential ballot.

Nonetheless, Tapper and the panelists seemed to work from the same memo instructing them how to spin Trump’s likely victory. SCOTUS, they said repeatedly, appeared determined not to rule on the case’s merits, but instead to look for an “off-ramp.”

Indeed, people on CNN said it over and over and over again. That alone should give listeners pause.

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Thursday regarding Colorado’s attempt to remove Trump from the ballot, and the public heard audio recordings of justices’ questions for the attorneys. CNN’s panelists reacted to that questioning and concluded that things looked very good for Trump.

“It did not seem to me as though anybody in Colorado should be popping their champagne,” Tapper said in a video posted to YouTube.

CNN anchor and chief legal analyst Laura Coates agreed.

“You have some pretty clear indications here that the Court was not swayed by this idea that Coloradoans — if that’s the right term — should decide for the entire nation,” Coates said.

Coates also noted that SCOTUS appeared hesitant to endorse broad assertions of insurrection as sufficient for removing a candidate from a ballot, and thereby rendering a decision “against democracy,” in the words of Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson.

At that point, Tapper may have decided to spare CNN viewers any more insinuations of Democrats’ democracy hypocrisy. Either way, those viewers received no additional substantive analysis. Instead, they got a healthy dose of the “off-ramp” talking point.

Tapper turned to University of Texas law professor Stephen I. Vladeck and asked if Vladeck agreed that the Court’s nine justices spent most of their time “looking for an off-ramp” — that is, a way to avoid disqualifying Trump without ruling on the case’s merits.

“Absolutely. And, you know, we went into the arguments saying, ‘How much of the argument’s gonna be about these off-ramps [and] how much is it gonna be about insurrection?'” Vladeck said, before concluding that the justices largely avoided asking questions about “the merits.”

Vladeck added that “this really feels like seven, eight, maybe even all nine justices” will concur in a “very narrow holding.”

CNN senior legal analyst Elie Honig chalked it up to “practicality” — again, nothing on merits.

No one, however, pushed the approved narrative more aggressively than did George Conway, a Trump-hating attorney, so-called conservative and ex-husband of former Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway.

“It does not want to go down the path of disqualification,” Conway said of SCOTUS. “And they are gonna take the best off-ramp they can find.”

Conway then predicted that the justices would not buy the argument, for instance, that the 14th Amendment’s Section 3 — the basis of Colorado’s disqualification efforts — does not apply to the presidency because it does not explicitly mention that office. He made this prediction despite the fact that on Thursday, Jackson pushed Colorado’s attorney on this very point. Instead, Conway insisted — again, so CNN’s few remaining viewers would feel good about the merits of the case against Trump — that the justices would issue a very narrow ruling.

“So that’s the off-ramp. They created — they’re creating their own special little off-ramp,” Conway annoyingly said.

And in case viewers did not get the message, Conway added shortly thereafter that “we don’t know where this off-ramp goes, but they’re happy to just get off the highway — now.”

Not to be outdone, CNN special correspondent Jamie Gangel showed that she, too, had received the memo. She did so, at least, with some self-awareness.

“As we have said, at least a dozen times, they were looking for an off-ramp,” Gangel noted.

Readers may watch the entire segment below:

In sum, the panelists had to concede that the day’s questioning did not go well for Colorado’s attorney.

As the establishment media so often has, however, CNN effectively lied by omission.

For instance, Coates correctly quoted Jackson on “democracy,” but no one on the panel seemed eager to point out that the left-wing justice also had cast doubt on Colorado’s Section 3 argument — a substantive objection that neither Vladeck nor Conway appeared eager to mention, for it undermined their “off-ramp” narrative.

On balance, however, it was a good day for Trump. And not even CNN could deny that.


This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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