Monday, March 4, 2024

U.S. Supreme Court Unanimously Strikes Down Colorado Ban On Trump

The U.S. Supreme Court has issued a unanimous decision striking down a Colorado Supreme Court order removing Trump from the Colorado presidential ballot and prohibiting the counting of write in votes for Trump. (You can read the decision here). At issue here is Article 3 of the 14th Amendment which states:

No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

 A Colorado trial court had determined that Trump had engaged in "insurrection" but nevertheless held that, as President, he was not an "officer of the United States" subject to the aforementioned provisions. The Colorado Supreme Court, as noted above, reversed and banned Trump from the ballot. 

    The SCOTUS decision completely sidesteps the "officer of the United States" issue and simply decided that states do not have any authority to remove candidates in federal elections from ballots, but that it is a matter exclusively within federal jurisdiction. In doing so, it also singled out Maine's procedure where the decision to remove Trump from the ballot was simply at the whim of Maine's secretary of state.

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