The Supreme Court recently conducted a pivotal hearing on the appeal of former President Donald Trump’s eligibility to remain on the Colorado primary ballot. The outcome of this hearing could have far-reaching implications for the authority of states in managing elections and the potential chaos that might ensue.
If it’s not overturned.. Biden can be removed from all red states for treason at our border. Leftys.. who wins then? Trump – Meredith
Arguing on behalf of six Colorado voters seeking to remove Trump from the ballot, Jason Clifford Murray faced repeated skepticism from the justices, who questioned the consequences of a ruling in his favor. Murray contended that Article 2 grants states broad power to conduct elections, allowing them to remove ineligible candidates, even in national elections, through their chosen processes.
However, justices expressed doubt that affirming Colorado’s decision would conclusively settle the matter, raising concerns about the limits of state authority. Justice Elena Kagan questioned the extraordinary power bestowed upon a single state to decide the U.S. presidency, emphasizing the potential for chaos.
No matter how the Supreme Court rules on Donald J. Trump’s challenge to a Colorado court ruling barring him from the state’s primary ballot, the case has already been a win for one group. https://t.co/5ZJdVaoF98
— NYT Politics (@nytpolitics) February 8, 2024
Murray countered by suggesting that the Supreme Court’s decision could serve as a precedent for other states, using Colorado’s record, largely based on the Jan. 6 Select Committee report, as a reference. This led to further discussions on the challenges posed by different states having diverse processes for handling ballot issues, raising questions about the acceptance of one state’s decision over another.
Justice Samuel Alito probed Murray on the potential unmanageable situation of conflicting decisions and records, questioning the need for an independent trial. Murray insisted that the Court could conduct an independent review of Colorado’s record, but he struggled to address hypothetical scenarios involving conflicting decisions and records.
The Supreme Court appeared poised to reject a state challenge to Donald Trump’s eligibility to hold office again. When the court will rule is unclear, but the parties in the case have asked for a quick decision, with Super Tuesday set for March 5. https://t.co/uqAdBsc16s
— The New York Times (@nytimes) February 8, 2024
Justice Brett Kavanaugh raised concerns about disenfranchising voters, challenging Murray on the impact of his argument on democracy. Murray justified his position, claiming that Section 3 aimed to protect democracy by preventing someone like Trump, whom he alleged disenfranchised 80 million voters, from taking office again.
Justice Amy Barrett expressed reservations, stating, “It just doesn’t seem like a state call,” echoing worries about the lack of uniformity resulting from the decision. Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson questioned Murray about the framers’ intent, emphasizing the interim of great difference that could arise before achieving uniformity.
The Supreme Court is hearing arguments in a blockbuster challenge to Trump's ballot eligibility over his role in events that led to the January 6 Capitol riot. Follow and listen live. https://t.co/XnNA26SkKM
— CNN (@CNN) February 8, 2024
Murray defended his position, stating that the primary concern was preventing insurrectionists from holding office. Justice Clarence Thomas sought historical examples of states using Section 3 to bar national candidates, and Justice Kavanaugh argued that Section 3 did not mention state powers, suggesting that Murray was looking for legal authority in the wrong place.
Justice Gorsuch challenged Murray on whether state authority to enforce federal elections had to come from constitutional authority, pointing out potential unconstitutionality in adding qualifications to the presidency.
On eve of tomorrow's SCOTUS argument in Trump insurrection case, reupping this post.
The conventional wisdom that SCOTUS will definitely turn away this challenge is wrong.
The justices are going to take this case far more seriously than people think. https://t.co/4MlGbowzy0
— Ian Bassin 🇺🇦 (@ianbassin) February 8, 2024
Colorado Solicitor General Shannon Stevenson largely deferred to Murray’s arguments, stating that the legality of Colorado’s actions relied on Article 2. Justice Alito questioned Stevenson about potential retaliation from other states if Colorado barred Trump, to which she expressed confidence in the system’s ability to handle such situations.
President Trump, commenting on the case, expressed hope for the continuation of democracy and criticized what he perceived as the weaponization of politics. After the hearing, Murray expressed confidence but acknowledged the extraordinary nature of asking the Court to declare a major candidate ineligible for the presidency.
🔥🚨BREAKING: A majority of the Supreme Court's nine justices signaled that they would overturn a Colorado ruling barring former President Donald Trump from the state's Republican presidential primary ballot. pic.twitter.com/yhz1aQQkbc
— Dom Lucre | Breaker of Narratives (@dom_lucre) February 8, 2024
Outside the courthouse, a group of state secretaries of state criticized the Colorado Supreme Court decision, emphasizing the importance of voters making decisions rather than judges or secretaries of state. They argued that Section 3 didn’t empower them to disqualify federal candidates.
As the Supreme Court grapples with these complex issues, the legal community and the public await a decision that could shape the balance between state authority and federal election integrity.
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Major Points Discussed:
- The Supreme Court hears Trump’s appeal on Colorado primary ballot eligibility, sparking a debate on state authority under Article 2 to manage elections and remove ineligible candidates.
- Justices express skepticism about a ruling causing widespread chaos, questioning the extraordinary power given to a single state to decide the U.S. presidency.
- Justices raise concerns about the lack of uniformity in handling ballot issues among states, questioning the acceptance of one state’s decision over another and the potential for an interim of great difference.
- Arguments center on whether Section 3 is intended to protect democracy by preventing insurrectionists from holding office or if it could disenfranchise voters, leading to a clash over the interpretation of the framers’ intent.
- The potential for retaliation from other states if Colorado bars Trump is discussed, with questions arising about the legal authority of states to enforce federal elections, adding complexity to the constitutional interpretation.