Former President Donald Trump continues to dominate the Republican primary elections, having just snagged a big win in the New Hampshire primary. With two decisive victories under his belt, it seemed like the path to the nomination was smooth sailing for Trump, until news broke that he may face obstacles from the Supreme Court.
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) January 24, 2024
The highest court is set to hear arguments regarding whether Trump should be allowed on the Republican primary election ballot. The issue stemmed from a decision by the Colorado Supreme Court, which ruled Trump ineligible for the state’s primary ballot based on the 14th Amendment’s insurrection clause. This clause bars individuals who “engaged in insurrection” from holding office, and the Colorado court cited Trump’s alleged involvement in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack.
This unprecedented move marked the first time in history that Section 3 of the 14th Amendment has been utilized to disqualify a candidate. Following suit, Maine’s Democratic secretary of state also removed Trump from the state’s presidential primary ballot. The former president and state Republicans have contested these decisions, and the fate of Trump’s appearance on the ballot now rests in the hands of the Supreme Court.
The implications of the Supreme Court’s ruling extend far beyond Colorado, as numerous states have similar pending lawsuits against Trump regarding their primaries. If the highest court were to uphold the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision, it could spell the end of Trump’s bid for the Republican nomination. This decision could ultimately affect the general election as well, potentially preventing Trump from becoming the Republican nominee.
Though some legal experts speculate that the Supreme Court may rule in Trump’s favor, considering the potential ramifications of granting states the power to disqualify presidential candidates based on the 14th Amendment. Additionally, Trump’s influence on the composition of the Supreme Court, having appointed a significant number of justices during his first term, may also factor into the ruling.
Amidst all this legal drama, the GOP primary race has narrowed down to a two-person showdown between former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley and Trump, with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis out of the running. Trump’s impressive performance in Iowa and New Hampshire has solidified his frontrunner status, but his future in the race ultimately lies in the hands of the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the 14th Amendment.