Supreme Court Gets Request From Michael Cohen in ‘Ripe’ Case

Michael Cohen is asking the Supreme Court to take up his “ripe” case against his former boss, Donald Trump.

Cohen officially filed his petition to the Court on Wednesday, asking the justices to review a case that asks whether U.S. citizens can hold a president accountable for retaliating against their enemies by weaponizing federal law enforcement.

“This is a case of first impression,” Cohen told Newsweek. “No president should ever be permitted to weaponize the Department of Justice through a willing and complicit attorney general to have a citizen unconstitutionally remanded to prison—solitary confinement—because they refused to waive their First Amendment right.”

The Supreme Court accepts, on average, just 2 percent of the thousands of cases that it’s asked to review every year. It chooses 100 to 150 cases that typically have national significance concerning interpretation of the Constitution or federal law. Cohen, who was Trump’s attorney and “fixer,” believes he has a good shot at having his case heard, saying, “It’s a case ripe for the SCOTUS.”

Michael Cohen Supreme Court
Former Donald Trump attorney Michael Cohen departs from his home to attend his second day of testimony in the hush money trial on May 14 in New York City. On Wednesday, Cohen filed a petition…

David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

The petition comes six months after a federal appeals court rejected Cohen’s attempt to revive his lawsuit against Trump, former Attorney General Bill Barr and other Justice Department officials for allegedly retaliating against him for promoting his anti-Trump memoir.

Cohen, who served time in federal prison after pleading guilty to campaign finance charges and lying to Congress, said that he was put into solitary confinement for critically speaking about the former president. His release was quickly ordered after a federal judge found the action “retaliatory,” but Cohen later sued, arguing that his constitutional rights had been violated.

In January, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with a lower court judge who ruled against Cohen, acknowledging that while Cohen’s release “may not have made Cohen whole,” there’s nothing in the law that would entitle him to damages.

U.S. District Judge Lewis Liman had previously said that while Cohen’s claims “raise fundamental questions about the meaning and value of constitutional rights, the relationship between a citizen and the government, and the role of the federal courts in protecting those rights,” he wasn’t exactly sure what Cohen was trying to claim in his filings.

Cohen had vowed to take the case to the Supreme Court after being dismissed by the appeals court. In May, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who oversees the 2nd Circuit district, gave Cohen an extension to file his petition by Wednesday.

Cohen’s petition comes as the issue in his case has emerged as a concern for those who don’t want to see Trump back in the White House. The presumptive Republican nominee has vowed to seek revenge against his political opponents if he’s reelected in November. Just last month, Trump said that “sometimes revenge can be justified” after he called for members of the House’s January 6 committee, which investigated the U.S. Capitol riot, to be indicted.

Some of Trump’s allies, however, have tried to downplay his remarks. Senator Marco Rubio, who is on the shortlist for Trump’s VP pick, told CNN on Sunday that the former president has been “clear” that “his vengeance is going to be by winning and making America great again. Not going after his political opponents.”