The Supreme Court will decide whether Donald Trump can be on Colorado’s ballot after being disqualified by the state.
The Supreme Court announced on Friday that it will hear the former president’s appeal after Colorado decided he could not run in the primary due to his role in the Capitol attack, fully embedding the Supreme Court in the 2024 presidential campaign. .
The justices recognized the need for a quick decision because voters will soon begin casting ballots in presidential primaries across the country.
Discussions will take place in early February.
For the first time, the court will consider the meaning and scope of the Fourteenth Amendment’s provision that bars certain persons “participating in insurrection” from holding public office. The amendment was passed in 1868 after the Civil War. It is used so rarely that the country’s highest court had no prior opportunity to interpret it.
The Colorado Supreme Court ruled 4-3 last month that Trump should not run in the Republican primary. This was the first time the Fourteenth Amendment had been used to exclude a presidential candidate from the ballot.
Trump is separately appealing in state court that Maine Democratic Secretary of State Shyna Bellows ruled that he was ineligible to be on the ballot because of his role in the Capitol attack.
Both the Colorado Supreme Court and Maine Secretary of State rulings are on hold until the appeal is resolved.
Colorado’s 4-3 decision cited Gorsuch’s ruling when he was a federal judge in that state. Gorsuch’s decision upholds Colorado’s decision to remove a naturalized citizen from the state’s presidential election because he was born in Guyana and did not meet the constitutional requirements to run for office.
The court found that Trump also did not meet the requirements due to his role in the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. That day, the Republican president held a rally in front of the White House, urging his supporters to “fight like hell” before walking toward the Capitol.
What to expect from the U.S. Supreme Court
Two sentences in Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment provide that any person who takes an oath to defend the Constitution and then “parties in rebellion” against it is no longer eligible to hold state or federal office.
In 1872, Congress passed an amnesty for most of the former Confederates targeted by the measure, and the provision was subsequently abandoned until dozens of lawsuits were filed to prevent Trump from running in this year’s election. Only one in Colorado succeeded.
The high court decided to intervene at the request of both sides, its most direct involvement in a presidential election since Bush v. Trump. In 2000, when President Al Gore was elected, the conservative majority effectively sealed the election of Republican George W. Bush. The court is down to Judge Clarence Thomas.
Three of the nine justices on the Supreme Court were appointed by Trump, despite their repeated rulings against him in lawsuits related to the 2020 election and his efforts to block documents related to January 6 and efforts to submit his tax statements to congressional committees.
Meanwhile, Justices Amy Coney Barrett, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh joined the majority of the conservative-driven The decision, which struck down the five-year-old constitutional right to abortion, expanded the right to bear arms and repealed the action in college admissions, was affirmative.
Some Democratic lawmakers have called on Thomas to withdraw from the case because his wife supported Trump’s efforts to overturn the results of the election he lost to Democrat Joe Biden.
Thomas is unlikely to agree. He recused himself from just one other case related to the 2020 election, involving former paralegal John Eastman.
Trump asked the court to overturn the Colorado ruling without even hearing arguments. “The Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling will unconstitutionally disenfranchise millions of voters in Colorado and could be used as a template to disenfranchise tens of millions of voters across the country,” Trump’s lawyers wrote.
Trump’s lawyers argued that the events of Jan. 6 did not constitute an insurrection. Even so, Trump himself was not involved in the insurrection, they wrote. They also argued that the insurrection clause did not apply to the president and that it was Congress, not the states, who should take action.
Critics of the former president who filed the lawsuit in Colorado agreed that a judge should immediately step in and resolve the matter, as did many election law experts.
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