Trump Barred from Ballot in Colorado and Maine; Supreme Court to Hear Case

Trump Barred from Ballot in Colorado and Maine; Supreme Court to Hear Case

Former President Donald Trump has been barred from the Republican Primary ballot in Colorado and Maine, according to the courts in both states.
Colorado’s court made the decision on December 19th, on the basis of the 14th Amendment’s insurrection clause.
“[The clause] bans those who engaged in an insurrection against the United States from holding elected office without the approval of two-thirds of the House and the Senate,” the United States Senate explains.
The Text of the 14th amendment reads, “No person shall… hold any office… under the United States… [who has engaged] in insurrection or rebellion against [The Constitution.]”
This is the first time the clause has been used to potentially prevent a candidate from running for president.
Similarly, Trump was also banned on the primary ballot in Maine– although the decision was made by the state’s secretary of state, rather than its supreme court.
“I am mindful that no secretary of state has ever denied a candidate access to the ballot… but I am also mindful that no presidential candidate has ever engaged in insurrection,” said Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows.
Both decisions were met with significant backlash, both from angered voters and figures within the Republican party.
The backlash claims that the decision is an attack on democracy.
“People may think that there’s justification for doing this, but it’s not good for our democracy,” said Former Republican Presidential Candidate Chris Christie.
Anger over the decision has been expressed by people outside of the Republican party as well.
Presidential Candidate Robert F Kennedy Jr. echoed similar sentiments, despite being an independent.
“Someone needs to explain to the people in charge that in a democracy, we choose candidates by voting,” tweeted Kennedy, “Not by using legal maneuvers to get them off the ballot.”
Bellows, however, used the idea of democracy to defend her decision.
“I do not reach this decision lightly, but our democracy is sacred and it’s at stake,” said Bellows.
The issue will now be sent to the United States Supreme Court, who agreed to hear the case.
“The case will be heard on an accelerated schedule on February 8th, indicating that a ruling will come shortly after that,” said an article from NBC News.
The Colorado Republican Party appealed the ruling made by the state’s supreme court, which successfully put Trump back on the ballot – for now.
“With the appeal filed, the United States Supreme Court has accepted the case, and Donald Trump will appear on the ballot as a result,” said Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold.
This is because the Colorado Court’s ruling had a condition: if the case was appealed to the United States Supreme Court, Trump would be put back on the ballot until an official ruling was made.
This means that Trump is back on Colorado’s ballot until the U.S. Supreme Court makes their ruling on the matter.
According to many legal experts, it is likely that the U.S. Supreme Court will rule in favor of Trump, as the Supreme Court is currently conservative-leaning. Trump himself appointed three of the nine justices on the court.
“This was a 4-3 decision among 7 democrats. It barely got by. It is almost certain that the U.S. [Supreme Court] will rule in favor of Former President Trump,” said Barbara Perry, a former legal researcher for Justice William Rehnquist.
The decisions in Colorado and Maine have inspired other attempts to get Trump off the ballot in other states although none have been successful so far.
One such attempt was made in Minnesota, although it was struck down quickly.
“The court of Minnesota has made it clear that former President Trump’s name will appear on the primary ballot,” said Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon.
Attempts are being made in other states as well.
“Cases were brought in more than a dozen states, including Oregon, Washington, California, and Michigan,” said an article from the New York Times.
There are many questions that the U.S. Supreme Court ruling will attempt to answer: did Trump truly engage in an insurrection? And if so, will the Republican frontrunner be barred from the presidential election?
The Supreme Court will have the ultimate say in the matter come February.

 

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