Supreme Court to hear Trump ballot removal case out of Colorado

 The U.S. Supreme Court is debating today whether former President Donald Trump should be removed from Colorado's primary ballot, with nine justices set to face a number of legal challenges against Trump.

The issue is whether Trump committed "insurrection" by inciting the mob to storm the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, and whether that would make him constitutionally ineligible to be re-elected President. In turn, that could prevent him from appearing on the state primary ballot as a candidate for that office.

Oral arguments are underway and a quick decision could come within a few days or weeks. Spectators began lining up outside the U.S. Supreme Court building Wednesday with blankets and chairs in hopes of securing one of the few seats reserved for the public.

These issues have never been tested in the nation's highest court and have been framed as a constitutional and political battle with huge stakes for public confidence in the judicial system and an already divisive electoral process.

In a written brief filed Monday, Trump's lawyers referenced the Iowa caucuses, the Gettysburg Address and the Venezuelan government in criticizing Colorado's high court decision to bar him from the ballot.

"President Donald J. Trump won the Iowa caucuses with the largest margin ever for a non-incumbent and won the New Hampshire primary with the most votes of any candidate of either party. He is the presumptive Republican nominee and is the leading candidate for President of the United States," the Trump legal team wrote.

"In our system of 'government of the people, by the people, [and] for the people,' the American people – not the courts or election officials – must select the next President of the United States... Yet in a time While the United States is threatening sanctions against the socialist dictatorship in Venezuela for voting out the leading opposition candidate for President, Defendant Anderson asks this Court to impose the same undemocratic measures at home. ''

Trump's lawyers stressed that 60 state and federal courts across the country have refused to remove the former president from the ballot, and called the Colorado Supreme Court a "lone outlier." They ask the Supreme Court to overturn Colorado's decision and protect the rights of the millions of Americans who want to vote for President Trump.

The 14th Amendment, Section 3, of the Constitution states, "No person...shall hold any office...under the United States...who shall have previously served as a Member of Congress, or of the United States." As an officer...sworn to support." According to the Constitution of the United States, shall engage in rebellion or insurrection against her, or give aid or comfort to her enemies."

In December Colorado's highest court ruled that the section covered Trump's conduct on January 6, 2021, and therefore applied to the president, despite not being explicitly indicated in the text.

"President Trump is declared unfit to hold the office of the Presidency," the state court wrote in an unsigned opinion. "Because he is ineligible, it would be a misdemeanor under the Election Code for the Secretary to list him as a candidate on the presidential primary ballot."

Supreme Court to decide whether Trump should be banned from voting in Colorado in historic case

The issue may center on whether the high court interprets "officer of the United States" to apply to the president's conduct in office.

"The [Supreme] Court should quickly and decisively end these ballot-disqualification efforts, which threaten to disenfranchise millions of Americans and which continue to exist in other state courts," Trump's legal team said in its qualifying brief. "Promises to sow chaos and mayhem as state officials follow Colorado's lead and eliminate the potential Republican presidential nominee from their ballots."

"The President takes a separate oath from that set forth in Article II, in which he promises to 'preserve, preserve, and defend the Constitution of the United States' – and in which the word 'support' is nowhere to be found," as it states in Section 3. Appears in, Trump's team wrote.

But lawyers for Colorado electors challenging Trump's eligibility said in response, "The thrust of Trump's position is less legal than political. He threatens 'retaliation' if he's not on the ballot. But we Have already seen Trump unleash 'bedlam' when he was on the ballot and lost. Section 3 is designed to avoid giving oath-breaking insurrectionists like Trump the power to wreak such havoc again.

The brief compared Trump to a "mob boss," saying, "Nobody, not even a former president, is above the law."

Trump has the support of 27 states in the Supreme Court battle, which have warned of 'chaos' in 2024 if he is removed from the ballot.

Also on issue:

– Whether state courts or elected state officials can unilaterally invoke constitutional provisions and disqualify candidates for federal office – so-called "self-executive" authority – or is this exclusively the jurisdiction of the U.S. Congress. Also, can Trump be disqualified without a thorough fact-finding or criminal trial?

- Whether this issue is purely "political" should ultimately be decided by the voters.

- Whether his acquittal by the US Senate in his impeachment trial on January 6 makes him eligible to run for re-election.

- And whether section 3 prevents persons merely from "holding" office, and not from "seeking or winning" election to any office.
Legal challenges over Trump's ballot eligibility are pending in more than a dozen states.

At least 16 state courts and secretaries of state have already concluded that his name can appear on the ballot. Colorado and Maine are the only two so far that have withheld his name.

Other states are saying stay put. The Oregon Supreme Court dismissed a related lawsuit earlier this year, but told the coalition of voters that, depending on the U.S. Supreme Court's decision, they could file the lawsuit again.

In conducting lengthy and contentious oral arguments, the justices will likely be forced to revisit the events of January 6 and a key speech Trump gave to supporters just before Congress certified the Electoral College ballots.

Trump has repeatedly claimed that he was not trying to incite violence and that his speech was protected by First Amendment guarantees, especially relevant as the holder of a top federal office.

140 law enforcement officers were injured in the attack on the US Capitol, and lawmakers and Vice President Pence fled the mob that stormed the building.

Colorado's decision has been put on hold until a final decision from the U.S. Supreme Court.
Maine's top court will not rule on Trump ballot eligibility until the Supreme Court rules in Colorado.

The state's 2024 presidential primary ballot with Trump's name on the Republican ballot has already been certified by the Colorado Secretary of State.

But if Trump is ultimately declared ineligible for public office before the state's March 5 primary, any votes cast in his favor will be voided.

The Supreme Court has traditionally been reluctant to get involved in overt political disputes, especially those involving elections.

The partisan blowback over the 2000 decision in Bush v. Gore still resonates, creating a perception among the public that many judges have partisan political intentions.

"Sometimes the Supreme Court has no option but to get involved in election cases because this is an area where, unlike most, the Supreme Court does not even have the discretion whether to take the case or not," said Brian Gorod, lead counsel. Constitutional Accountability Centre.

"There are certain voting rights and election cases that the Supreme Court is required to resolve on the merits."

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