Former federal judge: Supreme Court undermining democracy with Trump disqualification ruling

Retired federal judge J. Michael Luttig strongly criticized the Supreme Court’s unanimous decision regarding Colorado’s inability to disqualify former President Trump from the ballot under the 14th Amendment’s insurrection ban. This ruling preserves his opportunity to run for a second term.

In a recent article published in The Atlantic, Judge Luttig, a respected conservative jurist from the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, expressed his concern that all nine justices “dangerously betrayed” democracy with their decision.

Several challenges were filed by voters and advocacy groups regarding Trump’s ballot eligibility in states across the country. They claimed that his actions surrounding the Capitol attack on January 6, 2021, triggered his disqualification.

In a landmark decision, the high court ruled in favor of Trump, declaring that it is Congress who possesses the sole authority to enforce the 14th Amendment and disqualify federal candidates.

Luttig, a strong advocate of the Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling to prevent Trump from running for office, characterized Section 3 of the 14th Amendment as a safeguard for America’s democracy. He viewed it as a provision that would automatically disqualify individuals who have betrayed their oath and incited insurrection against the Constitution. Luttig believed that such individuals are too perilous to be entrusted with power, unless both houses of Congress, through a supermajority, officially remove their disqualification.


“The Supreme Court has dangerously and dramatically betrayed its duty to uphold the Constitution’s safeguard for American democracy. By rendering this safety net virtually useless, the court has effectively nullified its significance as if it never existed,” expressed Luttig.

Luttig disagreed with the notion that preventing Trump from running for office would be undemocratic. He emphasized that it is the act of insurrection that goes against democratic principles, as stated clearly in the Constitution.

In his statement, he emphasized that the disqualification clause has not been used in the past to prevent traitors from getting another chance to undermine the foundations of our nation. According to him, this is not a sign of its decreasing importance, but rather a testament to its effectiveness in deterring the most severe threats to our government.

Luttig, who had previously submitted an amicus brief in the case, restated his main arguments in support of upholding the Colorado decision.

According to Luttig, the Supreme Court failed to fulfill its duty to interpret the Constitution as written, resulting in a disappointing outcome for America’s democracy and the rule of law. The Court’s decision should have been the pinnacle of the fight for the survival of these principles, but instead, it turned out to be the lowest point.

The Court, driven by a desperate need to alleviate mounting concerns that it is merely a political tool, unwittingly reinforced this perception for posterity. This regrettable outcome occurred during a critical juncture in our nation’s history, where the role of the Court was crucial in interpreting not the politics within the law, but the laws governing the toxic political environment that threatens the very essence of America.

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