Colorado attorney unable to show historical precedent for removing Trump from ballot

 February 9, 2024

Attorney Jason Murray spent much of Thursday arguing before the Supreme Court that former President Donald Trump should be excluded from Colorado's ballot.

Yet in what may be a sign the case is about to implode, Murry at one point confessed that he was unable to answer a major question. 

Justice Clarence Thomas demands precedent for excluding national candidates

At issue is whether or not Trump is precluded from running for office by Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which is often referred to as the "Insurrection Clause." It states,

No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

Murry contended that Colorado is free to interpret Trump's actions following the 2020 election as an insurrection and thus disqualify him from running for reelection.

However, Breitbart reported that Justice Clarence Thomas responded by asking Murry if he could point to any historical precedent for this.

Attorney has no examples to point to

"But [it] would seem that — particularly after Reconstruction and after the Compromise of 1877 and during the period of Redeemers — that you would have that kind of conflict," Thomas began.

"There were a plethora of Confederates still around. There were any number of people who would continue to either run for state offices or national offices," he pointed out.

Thomas then went on to say this would "suggest that there would at least be a few examples of national candidates being disqualified."

Murry pointed to the fact that Congress refused to seat certain representatives who fought for the Confederacy, but Thomas noted this did not speak to the matter at hand.

No cases seen following the Civil War

The attorney also referenced how candidates have been excluded from participating in state and local races, but Thomas remained unsatisfied.

"I understand the states controlling state elections and state positions. What we are talking about here are national candidates," Thomas stressed.

The justice pointed out how there were people who "felt very strongly about retaliating against the South, the Radical Republicans, but they did not think about authorizing the South to disqualify national candidates, and that’s the argument you’re making."

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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