US Supreme Court reverses Trump’s Colorado ballot ban

The US Supreme Court has handed Donald Trump a major victory as he campaigns to regain the presidency, barring states from disqualifying candidates for federal office under a constitutional provision involving insurrection and reversing a judicial decision that had excluded him from Colorado’s ballot.

Mar 05, 2024, updated Mar 05, 2024
Photo: AAP

Photo: AAP

The justices unanimously reversed a December 19 decision by Colorado’s top court to kick Trump off the state’s Republican primary ballot on Tuesday after finding that the US Constitution’s 14th Amendment disqualified him from again holding public office.

The Colorado court had found that Trump took part in an insurrection for inciting and supporting the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol by his supporters.

Trump is the frontrunner for the Republican nomination to challenge Democratic President Joe Biden in the November 5 US election. His only remaining rival for his party’s nomination is former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley.

The ruling came on the eve of Super Tuesday, the day in the US presidential primary cycle when the most states hold party nominating contests.

“BIG WIN FOR AMERICA!!!,” Trump wrote on his social media platform immediately after the ruling.

The 14th Amendment’s Section 3 bars from office any “officer of the United States” who took an oath “to support the Constitution of the United States” and then “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”

“We conclude that states may disqualify persons holding or attempting to hold state office. But states have no power under the Constitution to enforce Section 3 with respect to federal offices, especially the presidency,” the unsigned opinion for the court stated.

The justices found that only Congress can enforce the provision against federal office-holders and candidates.

Though the justices unanimously agreed with the result, the court’s three liberal justices, as well as conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett, said the court’s opinion decided more than what was necessary to resolve the case.

“In my judgement, this is not the time to amplify disagreement with stridency,” Barrett wrote.

“The court has settled a politically charged issue in the volatile season of a presidential election. Particularly in this circumstance, writings on the court should turn the national temperature down, not up.”

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Trump was also barred from the ballot in Maine and Illinois based on the 14th Amendment, but those decisions were put on hold pending the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Colorado case.

The Supreme Court resolved the Colorado ballot dispute speedily, a timeline that stands in contrast to its slower handling of Trump’s bid for immunity from criminal prosecution in a federal case in which he faces charges for trying to overturn his 2020 election loss.

Trump’s trial has been put on hold awaiting the outcome of the Supreme Court’s decision – a benefit for him as he campaigns against Biden.


Topics: donald trump
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