Sun. May 26th, 2024

Supreme Court rules unanimously for Trump in Colorado ballot disqualification dispute

Supreme Court decision to affect more than 30 states that have considered challenges to remove Trump from 2024 ballot

Supreme Court rules Trump will stay on ballot, overruling states

President Donald Trump will remain on the ballot this election year after the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday unanimously overruled a ruling issued by the Colorado Supreme Court.

The ruling means Trump will face President Joe Biden in November! 3/4/2024

What did the Supreme Court say?

In the 9-0 ruling, the justices cited several reasons to overturn the Colorado decision, including the idea that one state or a few states could determine the national election.

“The ‘patchwork’ that would likely result from state enforcement would ‘sever the direct link that the Framers found so critical between the National Government and the people of the United States’ as a whole,” they wrote in the unsigned opinion.

Ultimately, the justices determined that Congress, not the states, has the power to implement the 14th Amendment, which is the clause of the Constitution cited in the Colorado case that was adopted after the Civil War to prevent former officeholders who “engaged in insurrection” from holding office again.

“…the text of the Fourteenth Amendment, on its face, does not affirmatively delegate such a power to the States. The terms of the Amendment speak only to enforcement by Congress,” they stated.

Supreme Court Hands Trump a Big Win in Colorado Ballot Case

The U.S. Supreme Court gave former President Donald Trump a major victory on Monday, ruling that he cannot be disqualified from Colorado’s Republican primary ballot under the 14th Amendment.

The historic ruling derails a broad effort to keep Trump from even qualifying for the 2024 presidential election, one that sought to hold him accountable for inspiring his MAGA supporters to attack Congress on Jan. 6, 2021, in a bald-faced attempt to remain in the White House after losing that election.

“BIG WIN FOR AMERICA!!!” Trump immediately responded in a post on his Truth Social media network.

The highest court in the land issued its decision per curiam, meaning that all nine justices agreed on a basic premise: Allowing a state to unilaterally take this kind of sweeping action would create chaos. Instead, they concluded, this kind of forceful act citing Section 3 of the 14th Amendment should come at the federal level.

“Permitting state enforcement of Section 3 against federal officeholders and candidates would raise serious questions about the scope of that power,” they wrote in an unsigned opinion.

The justices all expressed a serious concern with the fallout of what they called a “patchwork” approach, one that could fuel partisan hack jobs against enemy candidates and destroy the orderliness of the current presidential primary system across the nation.

“The result could well be that a single candidate would be declared ineligible in some states, but not others, based on the same conduct (and perhaps even the same factual record),” they wrote.

Justices Ketanji Brown Jackson, Elena Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor joined together in a separate concurrence to clarify why they thought this latest effort could cause harm.

“In this case, the court must decide whether Colorado may keep a presidential candidate off the ballot on the ground that he is an oathbreaking insurrectionist and thus disqualified from holding federal office under Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment. Allowing Colorado to do so would, we agree, create a chaotic state-by-state patchwork, at odds with our Nation’s federalism principles,” the trio wrote.

Justice Amy Coney Barrett, a Trump appointee, authored her own separate section of the opinion in which she acknowledged the dramatic tensions surrounding the timing of the court’s decision. After all, the court is weighing in just one day before Trump is set to appear on primary ballots in 15 states, including Colorado and the much larger and more influential California and Texas.

“Writings on the court should turn the national temperature down, not up. For present purposes, our differences are far less important than our unanimity: All nine justices agree on the outcome of this case. That is the message Americans should take home,” she wrote.

The court over the weekend indicated that one case would be decided Monday, taking the unusual decision of issuing an opinion on a day when the court isn’t in session. Rulings are usually issued from the bench, with summaries of their opinions read in the courtroom. The next court day is not scheduled to take place until March 15.

This ruling marks the end of a case that highlighted yet another constitutional crisis Trump has brought upon the nation. When federal prosecutors failed to charge him criminally for inciting the Jan. 6 attack on Congress, voting rights activists felt compelled to use this civil route as a means to bar him from office. In Colorado, the mission failed in its initial phase at a local trial court in November but later won when it was overturned by the state’s supreme court. It was that state’s high court decision that ultimately traveled to the U.S. Supreme Court, where it has now been reversed.

Under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which was ratified after the Civil War, any “officer of the United States” who has sworn an oath to support the Constitution who is then found to have “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” is barred from holding public office. The 4-3 ruling from the Colorado Supreme Court was the first time in U.S. history that the constitutional provision had been used as a means of disqualifying a presidential candidate.

Maine and Illinois similarly barred Trump from their primary ballots following similar legal challenges to his candidacy. All of the rulings were placed on hold while Trump appealed the Colorado decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, however, which in turn fast-tracked the case.

The high court’s justices were widely expected to rule in Trump’s favor based on questioning during oral arguments in the case last month. Conservative and liberal justices alike expressed concerns about individual states having the ability to disqualify candidates in national elections, with little of the discussion actually pertaining to the Jan. 6 attack or the role that Trump played in its instigation.

However, these justices will be making yet another monumental decision that relates to Trump’s aspirations of a political comeback this year. They will soon be weighing in on Department of Justice Special Counsel Jack Smith’s wider criminal case against Trump for trying to interfere in the 2020 election by spreading lies and coordinating an effort to employ fake electors that would erase his loss at the polls.

Last week, the Supreme Court separately agreed to hear arguments in April concerning whether or not Trump can be prosecuted on election interference charges. Trump claims that he is immune for actions that he took as president, and his lawyers have sought to delay a trial on the charges until after the election. The high court is expected to rule before the end of its term in late June or early July, possibly creating a situation in which the leading Republican presidential candidate will be on trial for election interference at the height of election season in November. source