U.S. Supreme Court hears case on Trump’s ballot eligibility

By Xinhua
On 9 February 2024 at 07:18

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday began to hear former President Donald Trump’s eligibility case, with the decision poised to set guidelines nationwide.

Early January, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to take up whether Trump can be disqualified from appearing on Colorado’s primary ballot after a ruling by the Colorado Supreme Court removed him from the state’s 2024 presidential primary ballot, citing the U.S. Constitution’s "insurrection clause."

The Colorado ruling cited the Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which prohibits individuals who have engaged in insurrection from holding public office.

Trump’s legal team is urging the justices to weigh several matters, such as whether the provision applies to Trump as a former president, whether he was involved in insurrection, and whether state and federal courts have the authority to enforce Section 3 without legislative action from Congress.

Additionally, they contend that the provision cannot be invoked to bar Trump from the ballot because Section 3 solely prohibits someone from holding office, not from running as a candidate or being elected.

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to expedite the review of Trump’s appeal on his eligibility, with a decision likely to be announced a few days or weeks after the arguments.

Highlighting his recent victories in the Iowa and New Hampshire primaries, the former president’s lawyers cautioned the justices about the ramifications of disqualifying Trump, asserting that it would lead to disorder and confusion.

Trump leads the Republican primary race, and in some simulations, he is even ahead against Democratic contenders, including the incumbent President Joe Biden.

Analysts believe that the Supreme Court’s ruling on Trump’s appeal regarding his candidacy qualifications may influence the direction or even the outcome of this year’s election.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump is seen in the courtroom during his civil fraud trial at New York State Supreme Court in New York, the United States, on Oct. 18, 2023. (Jeenah Moon/Pool via Xinhua)