Supreme Court prepares to hear Colorado ballot arguments

 February 5, 2024

The U.S. Supreme Court is preparing to hear arguments on the Colorado case about whether former President Donald Trump can be removed from the ballot there--a case that has repercussions for states across the country seeking to remove him.

Oral arguments in the case are set for Thursday, February 8 at 10 a.m., and if the court decides to issue an expedited ruling it could come within days or weeks of the hearing.

The Colorado Supreme Court ruled that Trump was ineligible to run for office because he participated in an "insurrection" on January 6, 2021.

"President Trump is disqualified from holding the office of president," the state court wrote in an unsigned opinion. "Because he is disqualified, it would be a wrongful act under the election code for the secretary to list him as a candidate on the presidential primary ballot."

Never accused of insurrection--or convicted

The 14th Amendment of the Constitution contains a clause that says participants in an insurrection are ineligible to hold elected office.

Trump's lawyers are arguing that January 6, 2021 was never proven to fit the official definition of insurrection, and Trump has never been formally accused or convicted of any insurrection.

It should be obvious that courts should not have the ability to declare someone guilty of a crime without giving them a trial.

Many conservatives expect the court to rule unanimously that Trump should be kept on the ballot, and for that ruling to carry over to other states trying to remove him, like Maine.

Never been tried

The issue of removing a presidential candidate from the ballot with the 14th Amendment has never been tried in the courts before, so this ruling will create a precedent that is expected to carry over to other states.

The court could rule that Trump should stay on the ballot without addressing whether or not he is guilty of insurrection, a determination they may be reluctant to make or that cannot be made legally the way the case is structured.

If the liberals on the court vote that Trump should be removed from the ballot or if the court rules that Trump can be removed, it could turn the issue into a partisan one and open up a can of worms that could lead to many attempted ballot removals on both sides.

Such an action could lead to a civil war, even if a cold one, which pits red states against blue ones and worsens the divide in the country. Some states have vowed to remove President Joe Biden from the ballot if the Supreme Court affirms Colorado's decision.

Because of this, the case could be the most important one the Supreme Court has had since it overturned Roe V. Wade.

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