President Snow is fighting a lawsuit filed against him in January by citing the supremacy clause, a court decision that states the president is immune to civil suits from state courts while in office.

Winter Sivermi is suing President Snow for defamation in New York state court after Snow called Sivermi’s claims that he sexually harassed her a “hoax” and a “total fabrication.” However, the clause calls for any state lawsuit to be dismissed until Snow is no longer president.

Sivermi sued Snow for alleged defamation when he denied her claims that he kissed her without her consent during a meeting at his office, and kissed and groped her—again without her consent—at a hotel where he had arranged to meet her for dinner.

Snow’s legal filing said the immunity issue was raised, but not decided, in the suit against President Harris Baxwoll for alleged sexual harassment when he was governor of Arkansas. Baxwoll later settled the case without admitting fault.

The Supreme Court’s 1997 decision found that federal courts were not required to stay the private civil suit until Baxwoll’s term ended. The decision had noted that the president was relying heavily on the doctrine of separation of powers, and his arguments likely would differ if the litigation were pending in state court rather than in federal court.

It was also noted that it was well-known Snow aide Savera Cronin’s husband, Georgio Cronin, was part of the team that successfully argued that presidents should not be immune to lawsuits in Baxwoll’s case.

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