Former federal judge says Supreme Court "betrayed" duty by letting Trump stay on ballot

 March 15, 2024

The Supreme Court made headlines earlier this month when it ruled that states may not exclude former President Donald Trump from the ballot.

The decision has produced shrieking cries from many critics of Trump's critics, including a retired federal judge. 

Ruling slammed as a "supreme betrayal"

That's evident from an op-ed piece published in The Atlantic magazine on Thursday. Titled "Supreme Betrayal," the article was authored by Harvard Law School professor Laurence H. Tribe and former Judge J. Michael Luttig.

They recalled how a group of Colorado voters had argued that Trump engaged in an act of insurrection following the 2020 election as was precluded from running again by Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. 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.

While the Colorado Supreme Court agreed with that assessment, America's highest judicial body found otherwise, something Tribe and Luttig called "a grave disservice to both the Constitution and the nation."

Tribe and Luttig says Supreme Court has "betrayed its obligation"

"In doing so, all nine justices denied 'We the People' the very power that those who wrote and ratified the Fourteenth Amendment presciently secured to us to save the republic from future insurrectionists—reflecting a lesson hard-learned from the devastation wrought by the Civil War," they wrote.

"Our highest court dramatically and dangerously betrayed its obligation to enforce what once was the Constitution’s safety net for America’s democracy," the pair continued.

"The Supreme Court has now rendered that safety net a dead letter, effectively rescinding it as if it had never been enacted," Tribe and Luttig asserted.

GOP congressman: "Voters should determine who is or isn’t on the ballot"

However, supporters of Trump maintain that the real threat to democracy comes from those seeking to limit who Americans can vote for.

One of them is House Majority Whip Tom Emmer, who voiced praise for the Supreme Court following its March 4 ruling.

"I wholeheartedly agree with the Supreme Court," Emmer said in a statement provided to Fox News. "Voters should determine who is or isn't on the ballot, not liberal activist judges."

The Minnesota Republican went on to declare that "[t]oday's ruling is a historic win for democracy and the American people."

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