Supreme Court hears landmark election case seeking to kick Trump off ballot over insurrection

The Supreme Court on Thursday will hear former President Donald Trump’s appeal to remain on the 2024 ballot, the justices’ most consequential election case since Bush v. Gore in 2000.

The court will be weighing arguments over whether Trump is disqualified from reclaiming the White House because of his efforts to undo his loss in the 2020 election, ending with the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.

The case marks the first time the justices will be considering a constitutional provision that was adopted after the Civil War to prevent former officeholders who “engaged in insurrection” from holding office again.

It sets up precisely the kind of case that the court likes to avoid, one in which it is the final arbiter of a political dispute.

The Colorado Supreme Court ruled that Trump incited the riot in the nation’s capital and is ineligible to be president again. As a result, he should not be on the ballot for the state’s primary on March 5, the court ruled. It was the first time that Section 3 of the 14th Amendment was applied to a presidential candidate.

Trump’s lawyers argue that the amendment can’t be used to keep Trump off the ballot for several reasons.

For one thing, they contend the Jan. 6 riot wasn’t an insurrection, and even if it was, Trump did not participate. The wording of the amendment also excludes the presidency and candidates running for president, they say. Even if they’re wrong about all of that, they argue that Congress must pass legislation to reinvigorate Section 3.

  • February 8, 2024
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