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Supreme Court Rules 9-0 in Favor of Trump: Eligible to Stay on Colorado Ballot Despite 14th Amendment Challenge

In a landmark decision, the United States Supreme Court ruled unanimously, 9-0, on Monday, allowing former President Donald Trump to remain on Colorado’s presidential primary ballot for the 2024 election. The decision marks a significant victory for Trump and solidifies his path to the Republican presidential nomination.

The case centered on the unprecedented attempt by the Colorado Supreme Court to bar Trump from the state’s ballot, citing Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This section, enacted after the Civil War, prohibits individuals who have engaged in “insurrection or rebellion” from holding federal or state public office. The Colorado court argued that Trump’s role in the January 6, 2021 Capitol attack amounted to engagement in insurrection, making him ineligible to run for president.

However, the Supreme Court, in an unsigned 13-page majority opinion, emphasized that the responsibility of enforcing Section 3 lies with Congress, not the states. The justices ruled 9-0 in favor of Trump’s eligibility on the fundamental question of whether he could be removed from Colorado’s ballot, dismissing the state’s authority in enforcing the provision for federal offices, especially the presidency.

The decision comes one day before a series of Super Tuesday primary elections across the country and strengthens Trump’s position in the race for the Republican nomination. The case had put the conservative-leaning Supreme Court in an uncomfortable position, forcing it to rule on the argument that Trump’s actions on January 6 disqualified him from seeking the presidency.

The Colorado Supreme Court’s original decision, which led to Trump’s removal from the state’s ballot, had triggered similar actions in other states like Maine and Illinois. However, the Supreme Court’s ruling now sets a precedent, making it clear that states cannot enforce Section 3 of the 14th Amendment with respect to federal offices.

The court’s 6-3 conservative supermajority, bolstered by key Trump appointees, played a crucial role in this decision. The majority opinion downplayed partisan divides, stating that all nine members of the court agreed on the outcome. Justice Amy Coney Barrett, a conservative, filed a concurring opinion, emphasizing the limits of state power and urging unity despite differences.

The three liberal justices—Elena Kagan, Ketanji Brown Jackson, and Sonia Sotomayor—concurred with the judgment but expressed concerns about the majority’s approach to enforcing Section 3. They argued that the decision unnecessarily decided complex issues and limited potential means of federal enforcement.

The Supreme Court’s decision is the first in its history regarding the so-called insurrection clause in the 14th Amendment. It clarifies that Congress holds the authority to determine the applicability of Section 3, shielding Trump from state-led attempts to disqualify him from the ballot.

As the 2024 presidential election cycle unfolds, this ruling sets a precedent that could have far-reaching implications for future challenges based on the 14th Amendment. Trump’s supporters celebrated the decision as a “BIG WIN FOR AMERICA,” as posted by the former president on his social media platform, Truth Social. The ruling not only impacts the current election but also shapes the ongoing debate about the intersection of constitutional provisions and state authority in the electoral process.