Judges expressed scepticism on Tuesday, as lawyers for Donald Trump presented a landmark case that ex-presidents should get immunity from criminal prosecution.

Trump’s lawyers argue his time in office protects him from charges related to his 2020 election attempt. The justice department argues the presidency is not “above the law.” The case could impact the future of the American presidency and delay Trump’s criminal trial.

Three US Court of Appeals judges questioned the implications of a Trump presidency, with Judge Pan questioning if a president could sell pardons, order Navy SEALs to assassinate a political rival without criminal prosecution. The government’s attorney warned of a frightening future.

Sauer argued that prosecuting a president for his actions could paralyze the government, potentially opening a “Pandora’s Box” for unnecessarily prosecuting future White House rivals. Judges Henderson and Childs expressed concern about this.

The US District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan has rejected Trump’s immunity defense, stating that serving as president doesn’t grant a lifetime ‘get-out-of-jail-free’ pass. The criminal trial in the election fraud case is on hold pending a ruling on the immunity claim. The case is expected to end up in the US Supreme Court.