Trump goes to SCOTUS, wants justices to rule on whether he "engage[d] in insurrection"
The Fourteenth Amendment question is now squarely in front of the justices, and everyone agrees that they must act quickly.
Donald Trump went to the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday, asking the justices to take up a case over whether Trump can be kicked off the ballot in Colorado for his involvement in Jan. 6.
With his filing, everyone who is a party to the case has now told the justices what is obvious to anyone watching: This is an exceptionally important question that the U.S. Supreme Court must resolve definitively — and must do so quickly.
The Colorado Supreme Court held in December that Trump engaged in insurrection with his actions surrounding Jan. 6 and, as such, is barred from being president under Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment. The court then, under state law, ruled that because Trump is disqualified from being president he cannot appear on the state’s presidential primary ballot.
However, the decision is now on hold — under the state supreme court’s ruling — “until the receipt of any order or mandate from the Supreme Court.”
In the meantime, Maine’s secretary of state, a Democrat, similarly ruled that Trump is ineligible. Trump has appealed that ruling in the Maine courts, but the effect of the ruling — Trump not being allowed on the ballot — is similarly on hold until the Supreme Court resolves the issue.
As the voters challenging Trump’s ballot placement in Colorado noted in their request for expedited review, primaries are starting soon — so speedy Supreme Court review is essential.
Trump’s approach to the Colorado case at the Supreme Court is different than the approach taken by the Colorado Republican Party in its petition.
When the Colorado GOP went to the U.S. Supreme Court asking for review of the case, it asked the justices to consider three discrete questions: whether the president is covered by Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment, whether the provision is self-executing (meaning, effectively, in force without any congressional action), and whether barring Trump from the ballot violates the Colorado Republican Party’s First Amendment associational rights.
When Trump went to the Supreme Court on Wednesday, his lawyers basically mashed all of the issues together into one question:
The reason for this is that Trump, as the rest of the petition makes clear, wants to challenge everything — including the Colorado courts’ conclusion that he engaged in insurrection:
And while it’s obvious that Trump wants the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision tossed out, it is worth noting how strongly everyone is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to weigh in.
Here is the opening of Democratic Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold’s response, filed on Tuesday, to the Colorado GOP’s petition:
While there can still be responses filed to Trump’s request, the facts are laid out to the court and the justices should now act to set a quick briefing schedule for the case by the end of the week so that this question can be resolved before too long.
This report was updated and expanded after initial publication to add information about the Maine ballot decision. The update was made at 10:30 p.m.
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