US Supreme Court rules Trump can remain on Colorado primary ballot

Washington, March 5 (IANS) The US Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that former President Donald Trump can remain on the primary ballot in Colorado, rejecting the state’s disqualification and potentially setting national wide guidelines.

The nine justices, three liberal and six conservative, all agreed with the ruling, Xinhua news agency reported.

By deciding that states lack the authority to remove Trump from the ballot due to his involvement in the events preceding the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021, the Supreme Court on Monday delivered a significant victory to the former president, who is the frontrunner in the Republican presidential race.

The US Supreme Court declared that the Colorado Supreme Court had made an incorrect assumption that states possess the authority to decide whether a presidential candidate is disqualified under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment of the Constitution, which prohibits individuals who have engaged in insurrection from holding public office.

“Because the Constitution makes Congress, rather than the states, responsible for enforcing section 3 against all federal officeholders and candidates, we reverse,” the ruling said.

The latest ruling makes it clear that it is Congress, rather than individual states, that is responsible for establishing regulations regarding the enforcement of the 14th Amendment provision. Therefore, this decision applies to all US states, not just Colorado.

The result puts an end to the attempts in states like Colorado, Illinois, Maine and others to remove Trump from the ballot due to his endeavours to overturn his defeat in the 2020 election against Democrat Joe Biden.

“BIG WIN FOR AMERICA!!!” Trump posted on his social media shortly after the Supreme Court’s decision was released.

Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold expressed disappointment in the court’s decision. “Colorado should be able to bar oath-breaking insurrections from our ballot,” she said on X, formerly known as Twitter.

The ruling came one day before Super Tuesday, the day in the presidential primary cycle when most states vote. This year, some 15 states and one territory, including Colorado, will vote on Super Tuesday.

The three liberal justices, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Ketanji Brown Jackson, as well as Trump-appointed Conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett, however, criticized their five conservative colleagues for delving deeper than necessary into resolving Trump’s case by concluding that the enforcement of the 14th Amendment can only occur through legislation enacted by Congress.

“The majority announces that a disqualification for insurrection can occur only when Congress enacts a particular kind of legislation pursuant to Section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment. In doing so, the majority shuts the door on other potential means of federal enforcement,” wrote the three liberal justices.

“Although we agree that Colorado cannot enforce Section 3, we protest the majority’s effort to use this case to define the limits of federal enforcement of that provision,” they continued.

Barrett, Trump’s last appointee to the high court, wrote in a concurring opinion that in her judgment, “this is not the time to amplify disagreement with stridency”.

“The Court has settled a politically charged issue in the volatile season of a Presidential election. Particularly in this circumstance, writings on the Court should turn the national temperature down, not up,” wrote Barrett.



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