Trump wins Supreme Court case over disqualification from running for president

The justices unanimously overturned a Dec. 19 decision by the Colorado high court to remove the former chairman from Tuesday’s Republican primary runoff.

The U.S. Supreme Court handed Donald Trump a major victory Monday, blocking states from disqualifying candidates for federal office under a constitutional provision involving insurrection and overturning Colorado’s exclusion of their right to vote.

The justices unanimously overturned a Dec. 19 decision by the Colorado High Court to expel the former chairman from Tuesday’s Republican primary runoff in the state after determining that the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution disqualified him to hold public office again. The Colorado court found that Trump participated in an insurrection by inciting and supporting the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol by his supporters.

The justices determined that only Congress can enforce the constitutional provision against federal officials and nominees. But four of the nine justices, including the court’s three liberal members, criticized the rest of the court for announcing rules that limit how that provision can be applied in the future.

Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. President Donald Trump reacts on stage during a campaign rally in Richmond, Virginia, the United States, March 2, 2024. Photo: Reuters

Trump is the favorite for the Republican nomination to challenge Democratic President Joe Biden in the November 5 US election. His only remaining rival for his party’s nomination is former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley.

The decision was made on the eve of Super Tuesday, the day of the US presidential primary cycle during which most states hold party nomination elections.

It came five days after the justices agreed to rule on Trump’s request for immunity from prosecution on charges related to his attempt to overturn his 2020 election loss to Biden.

Section 3 of the 14th Amendment excludes from office any “officer of the United States” who has sworn to “support the Constitution of the United States” and who subsequently “engages in insurrection or rebellion against it, or who has given aid or comfort.” “to the enemies” of the same.

“We conclude that states may disqualify individuals who hold or attempt to hold public office. But the states have no authority under the Constitution to enforce Article 3 with respect to federal offices, particularly the presidency,” the court’s unsigned opinion states.

Trump praised the move, saying during an appearance in Florida: “Essentially, you can’t take someone out of a race because an opponent would like it that way.” » Trump said he hoped the move would help unify the country, but he later lashed out at political opponents and prosecutors behind four criminal cases against him.

Supporters of Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. President Donald Trump hold signs near the site where Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley is holding her campaign event in Houston, Texas , United States, March 4, 2024. Photo: Reuters

Trump was also barred from elections in Maine and Illinois based on the 14th Amendment. Those decisions were put on hold pending the Supreme Court’s decision in the Colorado case.

Although the justices unanimously agreed with the outcome, the three liberal justices, along with conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett, said the court’s opinion had decided more than was necessary to resolve the case by clarifying that the Section 3 could only apply under federal legislation.

Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Ketanji Brown Jackson dissented from the majority’s “gratuitous” decision to announce rules limiting how Section 3 can be applied in the future.

“Today, the majority goes beyond the needs of this case to limit how Section 3 can prevent an insurrectionist who has violated his oath of office from becoming president,” the liberal justices said. “While we agree that Colorado cannot enforce Section 3, we protest the majority’s effort to use this case to define the limits of federal enforcement of this provision.”

Trump’s eligibility had been challenged in court by a group of six Colorado electors, four Republicans and two independents, who portrayed him as a threat to American democracy and sought to hold him responsible for the attack on the January 6, 2021 against the Capitol. the United States by its supporters.

The plaintiffs were supported by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a liberal watchdog group.

CREW President Noah Bookbinder pointed out that while the court’s decision allows Trump to return to the ballot, it does not directly address the Colorado Supreme Court’s finding that Trump participated in an insurrection .

“The Supreme Court had an opportunity in this case to exonerate Trump, and they decided not to do it,” Bookbinder said, adding that “the Supreme Court eliminated an enforcement mechanism and, by allowing Trump to reappear in the poll, they have failed to cope with the present moment.

As lawsuits seeking to disqualify Trump cropped up across the country, it was important that his candidacy overcome all obstacles to appear on the ballot in all 50 states.

Not since its ruling in the landmark Bush v. Gore case, which handed the controversial 2000 U.S. election to Republican George W. Bush against Democrat Al Gore, has the court played such a central role in a presidential race.

Source: Latercera


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