SCOTUS Sides with Trump in Colorado Ballot Dispute

( – The Supreme Court backed former President Donald Trump on Monday, March 4, 2024, in a unanimous ruling that will keep him on the Colorado Republican presidential ballot. This ruling overturned a decision in the state that had disqualified Trump from seeking office again due to his actions surrounding the January 6, 2021, Capitol attack.

The justices emphasized that the Constitution doesn’t empower a single state to bar a presidential candidate from national office using the 14th Amendment’s insurrection clause. They expressed concerns about potential disruption if a candidate could be deemed ineligible in some states based on the same conduct.

The court’s 13-page opinion highlighted the need to avoid chaos, stating that the Constitution doesn’t mandate enduring such disruptions, especially leading up to or even post-inauguration. The decision applies to all states, which means that Trump is back on the ballot in Illinois and Maine, as well. Despite the unanimous decision, the three liberal justices issued separate statements, contending that the conservative majority overstepped by addressing an issue on their own and not before the court.

Reflecting their awareness of the election calendar, the court released the opinion on its website on a non-session day, deviating from the typical practice of announcing decisions from the bench. Trump lauded the ruling, describing it as very important and well-made during remarks from Mar-a-Lago, his Florida residence.

While Trump’s eligibility for office was a key concern, the Supreme Court faces additional questions that could impact his electability. Sometime in March, the court will address Trump’s assertion of presidential immunity against criminal prosecution, which is a big issue as Trump confronts four criminal indictments, with two related to his attempts to overturn the 2020 election results. He also faces other charges. Due to the decision to pursue this lawsuit, Trump’s federal trial in Washington, DC, may now take place in late summer, which is very close to the presidential election.

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