Clarence Thomas Freezes Order for Lindsay Graham to Testify Before Georgia Grand Jury Investigating 2020 Election

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas temporarily paused a lower court order requiring Senator Lindsay Graham to testify in front of an Atlanta-area special grand jury looking into republican efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election in the state. Thomas has jurisdiction of the lower court which issued the original order; Thomas has issued an administrative stay, most likely doing so to give Supreme Court justices additional time to ponder the dispute. Senator Graham argues that he should not be required to testify because of the Constitution’s Speech or Debate clause, which protects legislators from some law enforcement action for conduct connected to their legislative duties. However, the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals has said that “communications and coordination with the Trump campaign regarding its post-election efforts in Georgia, public statements regarding the 2020 election, and efforts to ‘cajole’ or ‘exhort’ Georgia election officials are not legislative activities protected by the Speech and Debate Clause.” Steve Vladeck, a CNN Supreme Court analyst and University of Texas Law School professor, emphasized that the administrative stay is not indicative of how the entire Supreme Court, or even Justice Thomas, is likely to vote.

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