The Supreme Court is set to consider a pivotal case that questions former President Trump’s eligibility to appear on Colorado’s ballot, tied to his involvement in the January 6, 2021, Capitol attack. This significant case, poised to potentially disrupt the upcoming presidential election, will proceed rapidly, with oral arguments scheduled for February 8. The decision could lead to Trump’s removal from ballots nationwide.
Numerous challenges to Trump’s candidacy, based on the 14th Amendment, have emerged across the country. While many have been dismissed by lower courts, Colorado and Maine took the unprecedented steps last month of removing Trump from their primary ballots. These actions are currently on hold pending Trump’s appeals, allowing his name to remain on ballots for now. However, the Supreme Court’s decision to hear the Colorado case could lead to a nationwide resolution before the general election.
The conservative-majority court, which includes three justices appointed by Trump, has not previously settled the interpretation of the 14th Amendment’s insurrection clause. Trump’s political future is now in the hands of this court.
Trump’s campaign spokesman Steven Cheung expressed confidence in receiving a fair hearing at the Supreme Court, criticizing the decisions to remove Trump’s name from the 2024 ballot as politically motivated and an abuse of the 14th Amendment.
The contentious clause, designed post-Civil War to prevent Confederates from holding federal office, is now at the center of the debate, with plaintiffs arguing that Trump’s actions during the Capitol riot qualify as insurrection, barring him from a second term in office.
In Colorado, a lawsuit backed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) and supported by four Republican and two independent voters led to a 4-3 Colorado Supreme Court ruling last month against Trump’s ballot inclusion. This case, alongside the Maine case where Trump is challenging a similar decision, calls for a national consensus on the matter.
Trump’s legal team argues that the Colorado Supreme Court overstepped its bounds, urging the U.S. Supreme Court to address this significant constitutional question. While there is agreement on the case’s importance, parties differ on how quickly and to what extent the Supreme Court should intervene.
With Trump leading in polls and the Biden administration facing criticism, Cheung remains optimistic that the Supreme Court will uphold Trump’s civil and voting rights, potentially dismissing all ballot challenges against him.