Problems with voting? Call the Election Protection hotline at 866-OUR-VOTE.

Washington —The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law lawsuit, Smith v. Trump, filed on behalf of a group of Capitol Police officers against former President Donald Trump and his campaign, can proceed because the former president is not entitled to immunity from civil lawsuits, a federal appeals court ruled in late December.

The following is a statement from Damon Hewitt, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law: 

“The federal appeals court affirmed that former President Trump cannot evade accountability through claims of immunity in our civil rights lawsuit, Smith v. Trump. This lawsuit seeks accountability for the egregious acts that culminated in the violent insurrection on January 6. The court’s ruling, arriving near the eve of the third anniversary of the Capitol insurrection and at the onset of another presidential election year, is more than a legal triumph; it is a testament to the enduring strength of our democracy and the rule of law.

This decision underscores a fundamental principle that sits at the very heart of our nation: no individual, regardless of their former office, is above the law. Every court that has addressed Trump’s claims of absolute immunity has now rejected it soundly.

As we move forward with this case, we do so with a renewed sense of determination. Our goal remains steadfast: to ensure that those responsible for threatening our democracy are held accountable. This ruling fortifies our resolve and underscores the vital work of the Lawyers’ Committee in championing civil rights and safeguarding the pillars of our democracy.”


About the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law – The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to mobilize the nation’s leading lawyers as agents for change in the Civil Rights Movement. Today, the Lawyers’ Committee uses legal advocacy to achieve racial justice, fighting inside and outside the courts to ensure that Black people and other people of color have the voice, opportunity, and power to make the promises of our democracy real. For more information, please visit