Expert Predicts Supreme Court Will Overturn Trump’s Ballot Removal Decision, But Avoid Addressing Insurrection Issue

U.S. Supreme Court Likely to Overturn Decision Removing Trump from Colorado Ballot

The U.S. Supreme Court appears poised to reverse the Colorado court ruling that sought to disqualify former President Donald Trump from Colorado’s ballot. Legal experts predict the conservative majority on the highest court to likely overturn the decision, but in a way that doesn’t delve deep into the insurrection question.

Horace Cooper, Senior Fellow with the National Center for Public Policy Research and a former constitutional law professor at George Mason University, anticipates the Supreme Court to assert that the 14th Amendment’s disqualification clause doesn’t pertain to the presidency.

The Colorado Supreme Court ruled on Dec. 19 to bar Trump from the state’s ballot, citing his alleged involvement in the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol breach. Lawyers representing the former president promptly announced their intentions to appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Legal experts project the Supreme Court to swiftly take up the case due to similar efforts in other states like New York, California, and Pennsylvania. Although the court is expected to reverse the Colorado ruling, it is likely to do so in a limited manner.

Cooper believes the justices, particularly those leaning conservative, will seek a narrow approach to overturn the Colorado decision without delving into the specifics of Trump’s actions. The 14th Amendment’s history and the context in which it was adopted will likely feature prominently in the court’s deliberations.

Furthermore, Cooper emphasizes that Chief Justice John Roberts and the conservative-leaning justices will aim to refrain from passing judgment on the insurrection rhetoric applied against Trump. The Supreme Court is anticipated to minimize election entanglement and avoid owning the question of whether Trump’s behavior constitutes insurrection.

Inherent in this outlook is the Supreme Court’s desire to avoid political imbroglio and keep a low profile in the upcoming 2024 election, as Cooper stresses. The conservative majority’s likely preference for a narrow construction would allow the court to sidestep a potentially contentious issue and uphold the broader principle of fair elections.

While the Colorado Supreme Court ruling was split 4–3, with the chief justice dissenting, the dissenting opinion expressed cautiousness about election interference and presented a narrow argument that refrained from delving into the insurrection question.

Given the division within the Colorado Supreme Court and the broader implications of the case, the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on the matter is expected to have far-reaching consequences for election law and constitutional interpretation.

Overall, the U.S. Supreme Court’s forthcoming decision is poised to shape the legal landscape in terms of electoral disqualification and the application of the 14th Amendment to presidential elections.


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