On Tuesday, the Colorado Supreme Court has created a seismic ripple in the American political landscape. The high court ruled in a split decision that former President Donald Trump is not eligible to run for the presidency again, citing guidance from the U.S. Constitution’s insurrection clause.
This groundbreaking decision has removed the former Commander-in-Chief from the state’s presidential primary ballot, generating renewed fervor and setting the stage for an inevitable gridlock in the Supreme Court of the United States.
This precedent-setting decision introduces Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, never before employed to render a presidential hopeful ineligible. ‘The majority of the court deems Trump unfit to serve as the nation’s President under the parameters of the 14th Amendment’s Section 3,’ read the 4-3 ruling issued by the court.
The judgment has superseded a previous decree by a district court judge who, while acknowledging Trump’s possible incitement of an insurrection in connection with the eventful Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol, determined that this allegedly does not imply his automatic exclusion from the ballot.
The district court judge posited that it was not crystal clear that the clause’s purview extended to presidency.
The Colorado court’s verdict, however, is on hold till January 4 or until the U.S. Supreme Court can pass a ruling on this case—whichever comes sooner. Colorado’s officials insist that this matter needs closure by January 5, 2023, the cut-off for finalizing the presidential primary ballots.
The court majority penned the verdict with gravity, acknowledging the sheer scope and significance of this current issue. They asseverated their understanding of the weight of their duty to enforce the law, undeterred by the potential public reactions to their mandates and unpartial to any group or person.
In response to the court’s decision, Trump’s legal team was expected to promptly file an appeal to the nation’s apex court, which holds final jurisdiction over constitutional cases. They stated their strong objections to the Colorado Supreme Court’s conclusion.
Following the announcement, Trump campaign spokesman, Steven Cheung, communicated the team’s disapproval. He stated, ‘Tonight, the Colorado Supreme Court has put forward an entirely mistaken ruling. We plan to submit an expeditious appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court and simultaneously request a stay on what we believe to be a fundamentally undemocratic ruling.’
Meanwhile, Ronna McDaniel, the chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, dubbed the Colorado court’s ruling as ‘Election journey disruption.’ She disclosed the committee’s willingness to provide legal support to Trump in the upcoming fight against this ruling.
Even though Trump was not favored by Colorado voters in the 2020 elections, losing the state’s favor by a 13-percent margin, the state’s voter base isn’t necessarily vital for his prospective win. The concern lies in the potential of this judgment setting precedent, encouraging more courts and election officials to exclude Trump from ballots in all-important states.
A growing wave of lawsuits has surged across the nation looking to disqualify Trump, hinging on Section 3. This provision, originally instituted to prevent Confederate loyalists from reentering governance after the Civil War, prohibits anyone from assuming office if they once pledged to ‘support’ the Constitution and later ‘engaged in insurrection or rebellion’ against it.
The rarity of this clause’s invocation, applied just a handful of times since the decade following the Civil War, emphasizes the gravity of the situation at hand. Regardless of one’s political position, it is undeniable that the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision will have broad implications.
The ruling has delivered a shockwave that could fundamentally reshape the electoral landscape. Whatever one’s position on the decision, its momentous nature is undeniable. The constitutionality of the decision will undoubtedly face severe scrutiny in the days and weeks ahead.
Despite all this, the general sentiment among Trump supporters remains undeterred. Many remain fully supportive of the former President, with some seeing this as a political maneuver more than a legal necessity.
The court’s ruling, though controversial, opens up greater dialogue around the powers of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment and its implications moving forward. It provides a reminder of the checks and balances in place for every political figure, irrespective of their standing.
As the country waits for the U.S. Supreme Court to weigh in, the political arena continues to be charged with anticipation and uncertainty. The question remains: Will the judgement of the Colorado Supreme Court be upheld, or will the countercurrents of political discourse sway another way?
Without doubt, the upcoming decision of the U.S Supreme Court will be one of the most impactful and eagerly anticipated verdicts in American history. The judgment will not only hold the fate of Trump’s possible re-run but also shape future applications of Section 3 clause of the 14th Amendment.