WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court seems poised to reverse the Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling that former President Donald Trump is ineligible to run in the state’s Republican Party Presidential primary. The ruling disqualifies him under Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment, which states that anyone who engaged in insurrection or rebellion is ineligible for office. While the official decision has yet to be announced, legal experts predict that the U.S. Supreme Court will allow Trump’s name to appear on the ballot, according to widespread observer views.
During the oral arguments for Trump v. Anderson, Chief Justice John Roberts expressed concerns about potential retribution by election officials and judges disqualifying the Democratic nominee in other states. Justice Samuel Alito even hinted at giving Republican partisans an excuse to disqualify President Joe Biden by suggesting that his actions in unfreezing funds for the release of wrongfully detained Americans could be seen as betraying the country.
Other Justices focused on different aspects of the case. Justice Brett Kavanaugh cited Griffin’s Case, which suggests that Section 3 is not effective without legislative action by Congress. Kavanaugh argued that the case, decided a year after the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment, provides significant insight into the original meaning of Section 3. However, Trump’s own lawyer acknowledged the weakened authority of Griffin’s Case due to Chief Justice Chase’s opposing view in a subsequent case involving Jefferson Davis.
One key argument gaining traction among the Justices centers on practical concerns about inconsistent results among different states and the division of authority between the federal and state governments. The argument suggests that a federal body, such as Congress, should determine a major party candidate’s eligibility since the President is elected by the entire nation. However, opposing counsel Jason Murray argued that the varying effects of this constitutional design on eligibility are an inevitable consequence of assigning primary responsibility to the states in selecting Electors for the Presidency.
Notably, Trump’s legal team presented an argument that the President is not an officer of the United States and is therefore not subject to Section 3’s ineligibility provision. This claim is contradicted by the text of Section 3, which refers to the Presidency as an “office” numerous times. The argument has been deemed as an overinterpretation of the Constitution and unsupported by the intentions of the Reconstruction Congress that proposed the Fourteenth Amendment.
While some Justices seemed intrigued by the claim that Section 3 does not cover the Presidency, others focused on different aspects of the case. Despite these discussions, legal experts predict a reversal of the Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling and the inclusion of Trump’s name on the primary ballot.
In conclusion, the Supreme Court’s impending decision on Trump v. Anderson has sparked debates among the Justices on various aspects, ranging from political considerations to constitutional interpretations. The ultimate outcome is expected to allow former President Trump to participate in the state’s Republican Party Presidential primary, overturning the Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling.