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Can Trump directly appeal his hush money conviction to SCOTUS?
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Can Trump directly appeal his hush money conviction to SCOTUS?

  • PublishedJune 5, 2024


“Trump does not have direct access to the Supreme Court, nor does any sitting president,” an expert told VERIFY.

Donald Trump became the first former U.S. president to be convicted of felony crimes after a New York jury found him guilty on all 34 counts of falsifying business records in his hush money trial on May 30. 

Now, he’s calling on the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene before his sentencing on July 11, which would be just days before Republicans are set to pick the former president as the 2024 nominee.

“A Radical Left Soros backed D.A., who ran on a platform of ‘I will get Trump,’ reporting to an ‘Acting’ Local Judge, appointed by the Democrats, who is HIGHLY CONFLICTED, will make a decision which will determine the future of our Nation? The United States Supreme Court MUST DECIDE!” Trump said in a Truth Social post on June 2.

Multiple VERIFY readers, including Gloria, asked if Trump can directly appeal his hush money conviction to the U.S. Supreme Court.

THE QUESTION

Can Trump directly appeal his hush money conviction to the U.S. Supreme Court?

THE SOURCES

THE ANSWER

This is false.

No, Trump cannot directly appeal his hush money conviction to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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WHAT WE FOUND

Former President Donald Trump cannot directly appeal his hush money conviction in New York to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Instead, the case would have to work its way through the New York appellate court system before it could be elevated to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“Trump does not have direct access to the Supreme Court, nor does any sitting president,” said Michael A. Dichio, Ph.D., assistant professor of political science at the University of Utah.

Michael Bloch, J.D., a partner at Bloch & White LLP, a New York-based law firm, agrees.

“There’s nothing about the fact that Trump is a former president that would allow him to appeal what happened at trial here in New York directly to the Supreme Court,” Bloch told VERIFY.

After Trump is sentenced by New York County Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan at the Manhattan criminal courthouse on July 11, he can challenge his conviction in a New York appellate division court and possibly the New York Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court and the court of last resort in most cases.


Trump’s lawyers have already been laying the groundwork for appeals with objections to the charges and rulings at trial. But the appeals process could take months or possibly years, according to a New York Times report.

“Like any other case that originates at the state level, that case would have to be appealed through the hierarchy of courts within that state,” Dichio explained.

Dichio says Trump could technically appeal to the Supreme Court level “but not right now, and such an appeal is highly unlikely — even if he did, he could not directly appeal from this current verdict.”

That’s because the Supreme Court only takes cases from state courts when the appeal involves the U.S. Constitution, according to the U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Courts and the Judicial Learning Center.

“If Trump raises any issues on appeal dealing with federal law, including the U.S. Constitution, then he may be able to appeal a loss on those issues to the U.S. Supreme Court,” said Clark Neily, J.D., senior vice president for Legal Studies at the Cato Institute.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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