High Court Rejects Trump Plea It Intervene in Mar-a-Lago Docs Case

October 13, 2022 by Dan McCue
High Court Rejects Trump Plea It Intervene in Mar-a-Lago Docs Case
An anti-Trump protestor outside the U.S. Supreme Court building. (Photo by Dan McCue)

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court handed former President Donald Trump a loss on Thursday, rejecting his request that a special master be allowed to review classified documents seized at Trump’s Palm Beach, Florida, home.

As is their custom, the justices did not explain the rationale behind their decision in the brief, unsigned order. 

Trump’s legal team had filed his request with Justice Clarence Thomas, who handles requests for emergency appeals from the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and Thomas, in turn, referred the matter to the full court.

No dissents were noted in the order, despite the fact Trump nominated three of the current justices, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett to the highest court in the land.


Trump’s request to the high court followed a Sept. 21 decision by the 11th Circuit that barred the special master, federal Judge Raymond Dearie, from reviewing the documents. 


Those documents represented just a fraction of the voluminous records seized from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in August.

Trump’s petition had requested only a relatively narrow ruling, that the special master be allowed to review the classified papers before the Justice Department could do so.

Trump had not contested the separate part of that ruling allowing the Justice Department to use the documents.

As a result, the Justice Department will be able to continue to use the same documents as part of its criminal investigation. 


The more than 100 documents marked as classified are just a small portion of the 11,000 records seized by federal agents in August amid concerns that Trump had unlawfully retained official White House records after leaving office.

Dan can be reached at [email protected] and @DanMcCue

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