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US Supreme Court rules Trump can’t be kicked off ballots

The judges unanimously rejected a bid to prevent the former president from contesting this year’s election in Colorado

The US Supreme Court has shot down an effort by Democrat activists to stop former President Donald Trump from contesting the upcoming presidential election in multiple states. Trump hailed the verdict as a “big win for America.”

Monday’s ruling reverses an earlier decision by the Colorado Supreme Court, which found in December that the state could keep Trump’s name off ballots under a constitutional amendment prohibiting “insurrectionists” from holding public office. Activist lawyers had successfully petitioned the state to remove Trump’s name, arguing that his alleged encouragement of the Capitol Hill riot in 2021 had made him an “insurrectionist.”

The states of Illinois and Maine had also attempted to bar Trump from contesting the election, but both will now be forced to abandon these efforts.

The ruling was unanimous, with no written dissents published. However, two different concurrences were filed.

In the majority view, conservative justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, John Roberts, and Brett Kavanaugh argued that “nothing in the Constitution requires that we endure [the] chaos” of an electoral map in which different presidential candidates were offered to voters in different states.

“The judgment of the Colorado Supreme Court therefore cannot stand,” they concluded, before arguing that only Congress could enforce the insurrection clause against presidential candidates.

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Concurring with the decision, conservative Amy Coney Barrett agreed that “states lack the power to enforce” the clause, but argued that the five justices in the majority should not have ruled that Congress has this power.

Liberal justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and Ketanji Brown Jackson also concurred with the majority, but argued that the ruling went too far to “insulate” Trump from “future controversy.”

In a post on his Truth Social platform immediately after the ruling was announced, Trump described it as a “big win for America.”

The court was expected to side with Trump, after all nine justices expressed skepticism at the Colorado Supreme Court’s judgment during a hearing last month. At the time, Kavanaugh pointed out that Trump had not been charged with the crime of insurrection, and all nine justices voiced reservations at allowing an individual state to determine the outcome of a federal election.

Having won eight out of nine primary contests so far, Trump is the presumptive Republican nominee to challenge President Joe Biden in November’s election. Recent polls show him with a lead of between one and six points over his Democratic rival.

March 04, 2024 at 09:19PM

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