Supreme Court is ignoring Trump's tax returns — in a strange departure from precedent: report
Donald Trump (AFP)

On Thursday, CNN reported that the Supreme Court is defying ordinary precedent by sitting on lower court decisions about former President Donald Trump's tax returns without acting on them.

"For nearly four months, the court has refused to act on emergency filings related to a Manhattan grand jury's subpoena of Trump tax returns, effectively thwarting part of the investigation," reported Joan Biskupic. "The Supreme Court's inaction marks an extraordinary departure from its usual practice of timely responses when the justices are asked to block a lower court decision on an emergency basis and has spurred questions about what is happening behind the scenes."

"Chief Justice John Roberts, based on his past pattern, may be trying to appease dueling factions among the nine justices, to avoid an order that reinforces a look of partisan politics," said the report. "Yet paradoxically, the unexplained delay smacks of politics and appears to ensnarl the justices even more in the controversies of Trump."

Trump has appointed three of the nine justices, with significant consequences for the court's jurisprudence.

Weeks ago, the Supreme Court also dismissed a long-running case about whether Trump was violating the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution with his business holdings, saying that the request for an emergency order to block Trump's business activity was moot if he was no longer president.

The effort by Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance to gain Trump's tax returns has been in litigation for years. Last year, in a separate lawsuit over the matter, the Court ruled 7-2 that the president is not immune from subpoenas or criminal prosecution.