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Supreme Court Vaporizes Colorado Ballot Gambit

State of the Union: The decision also ensures that Donald Trump will be on the primary ballot in Illinois and Maine.

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(Brandon Bourdages/Shutterstock)

In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court ruled that the former President Donald Trump should remain on the primary ballot in Colorado.

The Supreme Courts per curiam opinion reversed the Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling that would have barred Trump from running for a second term under Section 3 of the 14 Amendment due to the events of January 6, 2021. 

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The Supreme Court argued that the power to restrict ballot access due to such violations lies with Congress. “This case raises the question whether the States, in addition to Congress, may also enforce Section 3. We conclude that States may disqualify persons holding or attempting to hold state office. But States have no power under the Constitution to enforce Section 3 with respect to federal offices, especially the Presidency,” the decision claimed. “For the reasons given, responsibility for enforcing Section 3 against federal officeholders and candidates rests with Congress and not the States. The judgment of the Colorado Supreme Court therefore cannot stand.”

Two concurring opinions accompanied the per curiam ruling. 

The first, from Justice Amy Coney Barrett, is only a single page. “The Court has settled a politically charged issue in the volatile season of a Presidential election. Particularly in this circumstance, writings on the Court should turn the national temperature down, not up. For present purposes, our differences are far less important than our unanimity: All nine Justices agree on the outcome of this case. That is the message Americans should take home,” Barrett wrote.

The second concurring opinion, from the liberal cohort of justices Sotomayor, Kagan, and Jackson, expressed some displeasure over their colleagues’ reasoning. “The majority announces that a disqualification for insurrection can occur only when Congress enacts a particular kind of legislation pursuant to Section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment. In doing so, the majority shuts the door on other potential means of federal enforcement,” the three justices wrote. “We cannot join an opinion that decides momentous and difficult issues unnecessarily, and we therefore concur only in the judgment,” the trio concluded.

As for Trump, the former president said it was a “BIG WIN FOR AMERICA!!!” in a Truth Social post.

Meanwhile, Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold tweeted, “I am disappointed in the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision stripping states of the authority to enforce Section 3 of the 14th Amendment for federal candidates. Colorado should be able to bar oath-breaking insurrections from our ballot.”

The Supreme Court’s intervention also ensures Trump will be on the primary ballot in Illinois and Maine, two states where Trump was previously barred from running.

It’s not the last time Americans will hear from the court before the presidential election. The Supreme Court will also render a decision in Trump’s presidential immunity case.

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