SCOTUS keeps Trump on Colorado ballot in unanimous decision

by ian


Looks like Donald Trump is staying on the ballot in Colorado.

Today the Supreme Court unanimously overruled the Colorado Supreme Court, which previously said Trump is ineligible under the 14th Amendment provision that bans insurrections from taking office.

The Justices said the “responsibility for enforcing” the 14th Amendment’s insurrection clause ultimately lies with “Congress and not the States.” The Court’s decision also negates similar efforts to disqualify Trump in Maine and Illinois. Trump celebrated the decision on Truth Social, calling it a “BIG WIN FOR AMERICA!!!”

Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold said she was disappointed with the ruling, posting on Instagram that “Colorado should be able to bar oath-breaking insurrections from our ballot.”

The insurrectionist clause was a construct of post-Civil War America, when Congress sought a means of preventing leaders of the recently defeated South from regaining power and, the fear at the time was, fomenting another secession.

There is a difference, however, between Reconstruction-era secessionists and Donald Trump. Most notably, Confederate leaders had been convicted of the crime which barred them from holding federal office.

Absent a conviction, it’s uncertain how any one state, or indeed federal body, could define what equates to insurrectionist activity. Unlike rules that prevent people from holding federal office based on categorical status – for example, it doesn’t, or shouldn’t take an act of Congress to determine if someone is old enough to serve as president – the term insurrection is open to wider interpretation.