NEW: Trump's attorney argues before Supreme Court that criteria for 'insurrection' not met

"President Trump did not engage in any act that can plausibly be characterized as insurrection."

Libby Emmons Brooklyn NY

The Supreme Court heard the case of Colorado's attempt to remove Donald Trump from the 2024 presidential ballot and addressed the question of whether Trump actually engaged in "insurrection," as the Colorado Supreme Court determined, without trial on that charge, that he did. 

"The Colorado Supreme Court concluded that the violent attempts of the petitioner supporters," Justice Ketanji Jackson asked Trump's attorney Jonathan Mitchell, "in this case to halt the count on January 6, qualified as an insurrection as defined by Section 3 and I read your opening brief to accept that those events counted as an interaction. But then your reply seemed to suggest that they were not. So, what is your position?" 

Mitchell clarified that "we never accepted or conceded in our opening brief that this was an insurrection. What we said in our opening brief was President Trump did not engage in any act that can plausibly be characterized as insurrection." 

"So why would not be an insurrection? What is your argument that it's not? Your reply brief says that it wasn't because, I think you say, it did not involve an organized attempt to overthrow the government?" Jackson asked. 

"So that's one of many reasons but for an insurrection, there needs to be an organized concerted effort to overthrow the government of the United States through violence. And this—" Mitchell was interrupted by Jackson. 

"So, the point is that a chaotic effort to overthrow the government is not an insurrection?" Jackson asked. 

"We didn't concede that it's an effort to overthrow the government either Justice Jackson. None of these criteria were met. This was a riot. It was not an insurrection. The events were shameful, criminal, violent, all of those things, but did not qualify as insurrection as that term is used in Section 3." 

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