Trump’s Ballot Eligibility Heads to the Supreme Court: Key Points About Thursday’s Historic Arguments

Credits: The Washington Post

As the nine Supreme Court justices convene on Thursday, they enter uncharted legal territory, delving into a case that could profoundly impact the 2024 presidential race.

The case revolves around the question of whether former President Donald Trump is disqualified from seeking a second term due to his involvement in the January 6, 2021, assault on the U.S. Capitol.

A decision against him could disrupt his pursuit of a second White House term, with potential repercussions resonating across all 50 states as it provides clarity on Trump’s eligibility for primary and general election ballots.

Donald Trump (Credits: CBS News)

At the heart of the matter is a rarely invoked provision of the 14th Amendment, established in 1868 to prevent former Confederates from holding public office. Known as the insurrection clause, Section 3 of the 14th Amendment has never been used to disqualify a presidential candidate until now.

In December, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that Trump’s actions related to January 6 rendered him ineligible for the presidency, leading to an order excluding him from the state’s GOP presidential primary ballot.

This groundbreaking decision sets the stage for the Supreme Court’s high-stakes deliberation in the case officially known as Trump v. Anderson. Notably, three justices on the bench were appointed by Trump himself.

The case introduces untested legal questions for the justices and thrusts the nation’s highest court into a politically charged dispute precisely as millions of voters gear up for the 2024 presidential election.

Since the controversial Bush v. Gore ruling in 2000, the Supreme Court has not found itself so prominently entwined in a presidential election.

Gerard Magliocca, an expert in Section 3, emphasized the rarity of a constitutional provision unfamiliar to the Supreme Court, gaining additional significance when applied to a former president seeking reelection.

He stated, “It just doesn’t happen very often where you have a provision of the Constitution that is unknown, in some sense, from the point of view of the Supreme Court.

Then you say, well, it’s about a former president who is running for president and so on — that gives it this added dimension which really has no counterpart that I can think of.”

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