Supreme Court’s Historic 14th Amendment Case Allows Trump To Remain On Colorado Ballot

In a historic ruling on Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court sided with Donald Trump in a case that questioned his qualification to run for the Republican presidential nomination. The case was based on Section 3 of the 14th Amendment and centered around his involvement in the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

The court unanimously reversed the unprecedented decision made in Colorado that aimed to remove Trump from the ballot. The state trial court had concluded that he had participated in “insurrection” on January 6th through incitement.

The Supreme Court opinion states that Congress, not the States, holds the responsibility for enforcing Section 3 against federal officeholders and candidates. The Colorado Supreme Court’s judgment was deemed invalid by all nine Members of the Court.

The Supreme Court ruled that the authority to enforce the provisions under Section 5 of the amendment rested solely with Congress. Moreover, the Court clarified that this decision would have an impact on federal offices across the country.

The decision stated that the case raises a question regarding the ability of states, in addition to Congress, to enforce Section 3. It concludes that states can disqualify individuals from holding or attempting to hold state office. However, the Constitution does not grant states the power to enforce Section 3 in relation to federal offices, particularly the Presidency.

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According to the justices, the notion that individual states can determine the application of the section in relation to federal offices is “simply implausible” and could lead to an unmanageable “patchwork” system where a candidate may be ineligible in one state but eligible in another.

The decision stated that there is no constitutional requirement for us to endure such chaos, whether it occurs before, during, or even after the Inauguration.

The decision guarantees that Trump, as the Republican presidential nominee, will be included on the ballot in all 50 states. This effectively puts an end to a constitutional challenge against his candidacy, which had been supported by conservative legal scholars and some Democrats.

Trump wasted no time in celebrating the ruling, expressing his jubilation on social media by declaring it a “BIG WIN” for the country.

Later in his remarks at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, he described the decision as significant and well-crafted, believing it would greatly contribute to unifying the country.

“The person can be removed by the voters, but it is not the role of the court to do so,” he expressed. “The Supreme Court eloquently stated this principle.”

The announcement was made just a day before Colorado voters headed to the polls on Super Tuesday, with Trump’s name being included on the GOP primary ballot in the state.

Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold firmly believes in the autonomy of her state in determining the eligibility of presidential candidates.

In a statement, she expressed her disappointment with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to remove states’ power to enforce Section 3 of the 14th Amendment for federal candidates. She believes that Colorado should have the ability to prevent oath-breaking insurrectionists from appearing on the ballot.

In a separate opinion, the three liberal justices, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and Ketanji Brown Jackson, expressed their agreement that the Colorado decision was not valid. However, they disagreed with the majority of the court’s view that only Congress has the authority to enforce Section 3.

The judges determined that enabling Colorado to exclude Trump from the ballot would lead to a disorganized system with varying rules in each state, contradicting the principles of federalism in our country. This reasoning alone was sufficient to settle the matter.

The liberal justices went beyond the majority’s viewpoint and expressed their thoughts, stating, “They decide novel constitutional questions to insulate this Court and petitioner from future controversy.”

“The majority has declared that disqualification for insurrection can only be implemented through legislation passed by Congress under Section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment,” they explained. “By doing so, the majority has limited other possible avenues for federal enforcement. We cannot support an opinion that unnecessarily decides significant and challenging matters, and therefore, we only concur with the judgment.”

Conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who was appointed by Trump, shared a similar perspective in her own brief concurring opinion.

In her statement, she expressed her agreement that States do not have the authority to enforce Section 3 against Presidential candidates. According to her, this principle alone is enough to settle the case, and she does not believe it is necessary to delve into the complex issue of whether federal legislation is the only means of enforcing Section 3. It is important to note that this lawsuit was initiated by Colorado voters in a state court, under state law.

However, Barrett also emphasized the court’s unanimous consensus, stating that this is not the moment for fierce disagreement.

“The Court has resolved a politically contentious matter during the tumultuous season of a Presidential election,” she expressed. “Especially in this situation, articles about the Court should aim to calm the national atmosphere rather than exacerbate it. For now, our disagreements are much less significant than our unity: All nine Justices concur on the result of this case. That is the message Americans should remember.”

Noah Bookbinder, President of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, emphasized that the Supreme Court’s decision did not exonerate Trump. Bookbinder’s organization played a key role in supporting Colorado voters in their pursuit of the case against the former president.

According to the speaker, although the Supreme Court permitted Donald Trump to be reinstated on the ballot due to technical legal reasons, it should not be seen as a victory for Trump. The Supreme Court had the chance to clear Trump’s name in this matter, but they opted not to do so.

According to a statement, it has been established by various courts and decision-making bodies that the events of January 6th constituted an insurrection, and that Donald Trump played a role in inciting it. This conclusion remains valid even today. While the Supreme Court’s decision to remove an enforcement mechanism and allow Trump to be back on the ballot was seen as a failure to address the gravity of the situation, it is now widely recognized that Trump was a leader in the January 6th insurrection. The responsibility for holding him accountable now lies with the American people.

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