Supreme Court acts urgently on Trump’s ballot disqualification case with upcoming written opinion 

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By Rob Samuelson

The U.S. Supreme Court is demonstrating unusual speed in addressing former President Donald Trump’s appeal to overturn the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision, which disqualified him from the 2024 presidential ballot based on the 14th Amendment. 

The high court, scheduled to hear oral arguments on February 8, also plans to release its opinions on the same day, highlighting the case’s perceived urgency and legal significance.

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Colorado Supreme Court’s controversial ruling

In December, the Colorado Supreme Court, consisting solely of Democrat appointees, ruled 4–3 against President Trump. 

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They found him ineligible for the presidency, citing his involvement in the January 6 Capitol incident as an “insurrection,” as per Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. 

This amendment prohibits any U.S. officer who engaged in insurrection from holding any office, civil or military.

Expert predictions on Supreme Court’s potential rulings

Legal experts are contemplating various outcomes for the Supreme Court’s decision. 

Laurence Tribe, a constitutional scholar at Harvard Law, speculated, “There’s a fairly good chance that they’ll find a way to duck that,” referring to the insurrection allegation. 

Options include redefining the role of the U.S. President as not being an “officer of the United States” under the 14th Amendment or instructing the Colorado court to revisit the case.

Challenges, strategies in Supreme Court’s Trump case deliberation

Adam Unikowsky, a Supreme Court litigator, believes the Court faces a tough decision. He wrote, “It’s a head-scratcher.” 

He also suggests the Court could question the evidence against Trump regarding the insurrection charge.

President Trump’s attorneys, in a brief filed on January 18, urged the Supreme Court to reverse the Colorado decision. 

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Ripple effect of 14th Amendment disqualification and Trump’s stance

They argue that disqualifying Trump based on the 14th Amendment would cause nationwide confusion and chaos, especially as over 30 states are attempting similar legal challenges. 

They criticized the Colorado Supreme Court’s reliance on “dubious interpretation” and “hearsay congressional report” in their ruling.

Trump, leading significantly in national polls for the 2024 Republican nomination, expressed confidence in a Fox News interview with Sean Hannity, saying, “We’re not going to take the vote away from the people.” 

Trump’s lead and predictions of Supreme Court’s decision

He enjoys a substantial lead over rivals like former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley.

Kent Greenfield, a law professor and former Supreme Court clerk, opined that the justices might avoid ruling against Trump. 

He wrote, “Most Court watchers think the justices will blink and find a way to avoid ruling against the former president.” To rule otherwise would be a bold move, requiring a strong judicial stance.

Awaiting a pivotal Supreme Court ruling with broad implications

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in this case could have a far-reaching impact on the 2024 presidential election and the interpretation of the 14th Amendment. 

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With various potential outcomes, the legal community and the nation await what could be a landmark decision.

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