Atlanta’s largest daily newspaper has just dropped a hammer on Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis as the Georgia Court of Appeals agrees to hear arguments as to why she should be removed from the case prosecuting former President Donald Trump.

Shortly after the state Court of Appeals agreed to consider a challenge regarding Willis’ eligibility to prosecute former President Donald Trump, a reporter from the Atlanta Constitution-Journal published an article citing experts who believe the Democrat’s case might not conclude before Election Day. The case has already faced delays for months due to disclosures about her romantic involvement with a former subordinate, Nathan Wade. With the appeal now proceeding, Willis is expected to lose additional weeks or months in her efforts to bring the case against Trump to trial before the election.

“There’s no way this case gets to trial this year,” Atlanta defense attorney Andrew Fleischman told the paper. “I would expect the appeals court to issue its opinion sometime next year. This issue is important. You’re prosecuting the former president of the United States. This is obviously an area of the law that needs clarification. … It’s so important to the outcome of the case.”

The paper noted that a three-judge panel likely addressed Judge Scott McAfee’s “certificate of immediate review,” a provision that permits defendants to appeal a ruling after he decided that Wade had to go or both Wade and Willis would be removed from the case if she didn’t fire him (he resigned the same day). According to the protocol, only one of the three judges needs to agree to hear an appeal, though the court’s one-page order did not specify which judge agreed. McAfee told the paper that he intends to address pretrial motions in the case while awaiting a decision.

In a statement, Trump attorney Steve Saddow praised the Appeals Court for its decision. “President Trump looks forward to presenting interlocutory arguments to the Georgia Court of Appeals as to why the case should be dismissed and Fulton County DA Willis should be disqualified for her misconduct in this unjustified, unwarranted political persecution,” Sadow said.

On Wednesday, the court also rejected an appeal from Trump’s co-defendant Harrison Floyd, who contended that Willis did not properly obtain jurisdiction from state election officials—a customary procedure before initiating grand jury proceedings related to election fraud.

In the piece, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution described the appeals process:

Fulton Superior Court must first prepare the record from the first round of the disqualification fight and send it to the appeals court. Only then can the case be docketed and a panel of three judges be assigned via the court’s computer system, according to Christina Cooley Smith, deputy court administrator for the Court of Appeals.

It is then up to the judges to decide when they would like to hear oral argument, said Smith, but the matter must be decided within two terms of court. That means that if it’s docketed before July, it would need to be heard and decided before mid-March 2025.

The decision was made less than a day after a federal judge delayed the start of Trump’s classified documents case, citing the need for an indefinite pause while the Republican concludes his hush money trial in Manhattan. Judge Juan Merchan, presiding over that trial, has mandated Trump’s daily attendance at the proceedings under penalty of jail time. The delay by U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, who was appointed by Trump, virtually guarantees that the case will not be resolved before November.

Disclaimer: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.