SCOTUS indicates court will keep Trump on Colorado ballot

"The question you have to confront is why a single state should decide who gets to be president of the United States." Justice Kagan said.


Justices in the US Supreme Court listened to arguments from Colorado-based attorney Jason Murray and former President Donald Trump's lawyers on Thursday about whether Trump will stay on the ballot for the Colorado primary, and subsequently other states' ballots. Arguments from the justices seemed to indicate that they will side with the former president in the case.  

Trump's lawyers appealed the Dec. 19 decision from the Colorado Supreme Court that ruled the former president had engaged in "insurrection" and could not be on the ballot under the 14th Amendment.  

Through the justices' questioning of Murray, it seemed to indicate wide agreement that Trump will remain on the ballot in their final decision. Nearly all of the justices appeared skeptical of the Colorado case, including some of the more liberal justices.  

Justice Elena Kagan questioned Murray, "The question you have to confront is why a single state should decide who gets to be president of the United States.” 

Others on the court pressed Murray on the matter as well. Justice Samuel Alito appeared skeptical of the power of states being able to take similar actions as well.  

Alito pressed Murray asking if "different states" could bring cases based on "different standards" of evidence that Trump was an insurrectionist, what would the court do? Murray dodged the question in his answer and Alito called him on it saying, "You’re really not answering my question." 

The first question of the trial came from conservative Justice Clarence Thomas, who asked if the 14th Amendment could be "self-executing" by itself, given the text of the 14th Amendment states that nobody who has "engaged in insurrection or rebellion" if they have previously been an officer of the country. If it is "self-executing" this would mean that there would be no need for an act of Congress of federal authority to make this happen and states could just enforce the text at their own discretion.  

Most of the Justices seemed to agree that a single state could not disqualify Trump from an election on the national level.  

Justice Amy Coney Barrett was also skeptical, saying that it "doesn't seem like a state call" to remove the former president from the ballot. 

The only justice on the court that appeared to lean in favor of the ruling from the Colorado Supreme Court was the more liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor. She grilled Trump's lawyer, Jonathan Mitchell, asking him if the only reason he was performing his duties was to give Trump the opportunity to serve four more years as president. 

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