U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark ruling affirms Trump’s ballot presence

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Donald Trump

4th March 2024 – (Washington) The U.S. Supreme Court issued a landmark judgment on Monday, ensuring Donald Trump’s eligibility for future electoral ballots despite any prior conduct relating to the Capitol incident on 6th January.

The unanimous decision, devoid of any dissenting opinions, overturned the prior judgment of the Colorado Supreme Court. The state court had previously ruled that Trump was not eligible to serve as President again, citing Section 3 of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

The Supreme Court’s ruling underscored a crucial constitutional interpretation: it is Congress, not individual states, that has the authority to enforce the provisions of the 14th Amendment. This clarification holds nationwide applicability, rendering the judgment far-reaching beyond the confines of Colorado.

The ruling stated, “As the Constitution assigns the responsibility of enforcing Section 3 against federal officers and candidates to Congress, we hereby reverse the decision of the Colorado Supreme Court.”

This judgment arrives on the cusp of the Colorado primaries, delivering a significant impact on the immediate electoral landscape. Moreover, it effectively quashes similar legal challenges that have surfaced in other states, notably Maine and Illinois, where state-level decisions were pending.

The Supreme Court highlighted concerns regarding the potential for a fragmented electoral system, where state officials might independently determine presidential ballot eligibility. Such a scenario could lead to an electoral quagmire, with a candidate deemed ineligible in some states but not in others, based on identical allegations of misconduct.

The Supreme Court’s decision therefore closes one potential avenue for holding Trump accountable for his actions surrounding the 2020 election results, including his involvement in the events of January 6, when his supporters stormed the Capitol as Congress was poised to certify President Joe Biden’s victory.

Trump also faces separate criminal charges related to the same series of events. The Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments in April concerning Trump’s extensive claims of presidential immunity.

The original ruling by the Colorado court on 19th December was anchored in the 14th Amendment’s Section 3, which was historically instituted post-Civil War to prevent former Confederates from regaining power within the U.S. government. The case brought forth complex legal questions, including the applicability of the language to presidential candidates and the determination of engagement in an insurrection.

The state court’s decision overturned a lower court’s finding that Trump had incited the 6th January riot but further stated that presidents are exempt from the insurrection clause of the 14th Amendment as they are not considered an “officer of the United States.”

Trump’s legal team, along with his supporters, have contested the application of the 14th Amendment, asserting that the events of 6th January do not constitute an insurrection.

The stance has garnered support from Republicans and even some Democrats, such as California Governor Gavin Newsom, who have voiced concerns about the deployment of the 14th Amendment as a partisan tool.

The initial lawsuit was brought forth by six Colorado voters, represented by the left-leaning watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and two law firms. They argued that Trump had orchestrated and incited a violent mob to disrupt the certification of electoral votes against him.