Trump disqualification case: US Supreme Court appears skeptical of Colorado ruling
By TOI Desk Report February 9, 2024 Update on : February 9, 2024
The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments Thursday in a landmark case concerning the eligibility of Donald Trump to run for president in 2024.
A majority of the justices expressed skepticism about a ruling from the Colorado Supreme Court that disqualified the GOP presidential frontrunner Trump from appearing on the state’s presidential primary ballot.
A main point of skepticism was whether states have the authority to disqualify federal candidates as the doubt emerged through the justices’ exchanges with attorneys for Trump and the plaintiffs.
A Colorado Supreme Court ruling from December found Trump disqualified from holding the office and ordered Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold not to include Trump’s name on the Colorado primary ballot.
Watchdog group Citizens filed the lawsuit in state district court in September for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
The ruling came in a lawsuit on behalf of six Colorado voters, who argued Trump is disqualified from office under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment.
Section 3 prohibits someone who took an oath to support the Constitution and then “engaged in insurrection” from holding office again.
The lawsuit said Donald Trump tried to overthrow the results of the 2020 presidential election. His efforts ended on January 6, 2021.
The district court judge determined that Trump had engaged in insurrection but that Section 3 doesn’t apply to presidents.
The Colorado Supreme Court affirmed the district court’s finding that Trump engaged in insurrection but, in reversing the district court’s order, also concluded that Section 3 applies to presidents.
Critics of the lawsuit have argued that disqualification of Trump would be a violation of democratic principles. They said defeat at the ballot box was the best way to bar him from office.
The court will likely issue a ruling in the case sometime before Colorado’s March 5 presidential primary election.