Former US President Donald Trump is among the nation’s most petty litigants; his lawsuits pertaining to business conflicts and fictitious allegations of voter fraud frequently failed to pass the laugh test.
However, Trump’s recent filing of two appeals following his removal from the ballot in Colorado and Maine do not align with his custom of utilizing the legal system to obstruct and postpone instances of personal responsibility. These initiatives could be motivated by his own anti-democratic behavior in 2020 and be self-serving. However, these are also exceptional instances of the former president bringing up a crucial constitutional question that requires immediate attention.
Regarding the Colorado case, Trump has filed appeals with the US Supreme Court and a Maine state court. In the end, the 2024 election may devolve into turmoil if the high court is unable to resolve the matter for the entire nation.
Trump is contesting rulings from the Democratic secretary of state of Maine and the Colorado Supreme Court that would have disqualified him for violating the 14th Amendment’s restriction on “insurrectionists” in the wake of his followers’ mob assault on Congress that ensued after his effort to rig the 2020 election.
In his Wednesday plea to the Supreme Court over the Colorado case, Trump contended that he was never involved in an uprising, that Congress, not the courts, should decide his eligibility, and that the ban on insurrectionists did not apply to the president in the first place. The Colorado Republican Party, a party involved in the case, had previously filed a filing with the top bench threatening “catastrophic” national repercussions should the state Supreme Court ruling be upheld. This was due to the possibility of “nebulous” insurrection claims and endless nationwide disputes regarding candidate eligibility.
Trump Said in Maine Court
Trump said in a filing made to a Maine court on Tuesday that Secretary of State Shenna Bellows was a “biased decision maker” and that she lacked the legal right to hear a case aimed at removing him from office.
The US Supreme Court’s decision would be the last word on whether or not Trump may run for office in Colorado, Maine, and other states where his eligibility is under dispute.
Clarifying the meaning of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which states that no person shall hold any office under the United States who, having previously taken an oath to support the founding document of the United States, shall have participated in insurrection or disobedience against the same, or given assistance or consolation to the enemies thereof, is one of the main reasons the court is under intense pressure to take the Colorado case.
More practically, however, the burden rests with the Supreme Court to intervene since it is untenable for US democracy in future generations as well as for the 2024 election if certain states choose to reject a candidate based on their own reading of the amendment while others do not.
Important concerns center on whether Trump’s lies regarding election fraud in 2020, his exhortation to his followers to “fight like Hell” to defend their nation before the riot, and his call for them to gather in Washington, DC, on January 6, 2021, constitute insurrectionary activities.
Even if they do, the issue then arises of who has the authority to declare someone to be an insurrectionist? Are those in question entitled to a fair trial to decide the matter? Trump hasn’t even been officially charged with insurrection in relation to any of the 91 criminal accusations against which he has entered a not guilty plea.
The 14th Amendment was heavily used to bar former Confederates from holding public office during the Civil War, but its applicability outside of that context is largely unknown, especially when it comes to a former president.
In a startling ruling last month, the Colorado Supreme Court determined that Trump had instigated an uprising and had continued to openly and actively support it even after the US Capitol was under siege. Bellows noted in Maine that no presidential candidate has ever before engaged in insurrection, even though no secretary of state had ever denied a presidential candidate entrance to the vote box on the grounds of the 14th Amendment.
It is precisely this type of constitutional conundrum that the US Supreme Court was intended to unravel.
Jennifer Rodgers, a legal expert for News, stated on Wednesday that the US Supreme Court is the ultimate authority on the meaning of the US Constitution and that they have never previously discussed the subject.