The United States Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments in the case coming out of Colorado to determine whether or not they have the right to boot former President Donald Trump from the GOP primary ballot and things are already not going well for Democrats who were clinging to the hope that maybe, just maybe, they could get rid of him by employing this strategy.
Here’s more from The Western Journal:
In December, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that Trump, the GOP front-runner in this year’s presidential race, was ineligible to be on the ballot in the state, concluding he participated in an “insurrection” and therefore is disqualified from holding federal office under Section 3 of the Constitution’s 14th Amendment.
The amendment was ratified in 1868 in the aftermath of the Civil War, and Section 3 prevented former supporters of the Confederacy, who “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” or gave “aid or comfort to the enemies” of the United States, from holding political office.
The Colorado Supreme Court concluded, in a 4-3 decision, that Trump’s role in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol incursion amounted to participation in an insurrection.
According to federal law, engaging in any sort of rebellion or insurrection is illegal and comes with a maximum penalty of a decade in prison. However, Trump has not been charged with insurrection and thus has also not been convicted of such a crime.
On Jan. 4, Trump filed an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court, which then stated two days later they would hear the case.
During oral arguments Thursday, Kagan, a liberal appointed to the court by then-President Barack Obama in 2009, told Jason Murray, the attorney representing Colorado voters, “Most boldly, I think that the question that you have to confront is why a single state should decide who gets to be president of the United States.”
And that is a very, very good question, don’t you think? What makes any single state think they have the right to decide for the rest of America who should be the next commander-in-chief? That’s not how our system works. It’s not how fair and free elections work either. They have no answer for this question. What they are trying to do is unconstitutional.
“In other words, you know, this question of whether a former president is disqualified for insurrection to be president again, is to just say it — it sounds awfully national to me,” she added.
“So whatever means there are to enforce it would suggest that they have to be federal, national means,” Kagan explained.
Kagan then stated that it would be “extraordinary” for one secretary of state from a swing state like Wisconsin or Michigan to have the power to determine who gets to sit in the White House and lead the country, simply by being able to say that an individual isn’t eligible to be on the ballot.
Murray responded that ultimately it would fall on the U.S. Supreme Court to decide what due process is required by states seeking to take such an action.
Kagan countered by supposing the court ruled that a state had the power to do it.
“Why should a single state have the ability to make this determination not only for their own citizens but for the rest of the nation?” she went on to ask.
At this point, Murray cited Article II, Section I of the Constitution, which provides states with the power to determine presidential electors. However, that doesn’t give an answer as to who is allowed to be on a ballot to start with.
Trump appointed Justice Amy Coney Barrett entered the conversation and asked Murray about the different means states could use to come up with standards that would make a candidate ineligible.
“What if this [decision] is made by the secretary of state without much [due] process at all?” she asked Murray. “It just doesn’t seem like a state call,” Barrett added.
Once again, Murray stated it would fall on SCOTUS to do a review of the factual record.
Justice Kagan: "The question that you have to confront is why a single state should decide who gets to be President of the United States." pic.twitter.com/2zO4UeJos4
— CSPAN (@cspan) February 8, 2024
The point being made, according to the WJ report, was that it is up to Congress to create a uniform rule to establish ballot eligibility under the 14th Amendment, not states. If you look at Section 5 of that particular amendment, it provides Congress with that very power.
If Trump had been convicted of the federal crime of insurrection, states could argue that Section 3 of the amendment applies. They would not be establishing their own standards of insurrection.
But that hasn’t happened. The Colorado Supreme Court doesn’t have a leg to stand on in this case. Once the Court has ruled on this case, all efforts to stop Trump from being on the ballot should be dashed to dust.
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