US Supreme Court rules states cannot bar Trump from ballot

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On Monday, March 4, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled states cannot bar Donald Trump from their ballots.

This ruling came on the heels of a Colorado Supreme Court decision in December 2023 to remove Trump from their state’s ballot.

A picture of the U.S. Supreme Court of the United States. The Supreme Court ruled states cannot bar Trump from their ballots on March 4. (pixabay.com)

“A majority of the court holds that Trump is disqualified from holding the office of president under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment,” four of the seven Colorado Supreme Court justices said.

All nine members of the U.S. Supreme Court agreed states do not have the right “to enforce this particular constitutional provision with respect to federal offices,” according to the published decision.

“The judgment of the Colorado Supreme Court therefore cannot stand,” the decision said.

Though the vote was unanimous, Justice Amy Coney Barrett wrote a differing concurring opinion and the three liberal justices in the court wrote their own concurring opinion.

Barrett emphasized the court’s decision was meant to unite, not divide.

“Particularly in this circumstance, writings on the Court should turn the national temperature down, not up. For present purposes, our differences are far less important than our unanimity: All nine justices agree on the outcome of this case. That is the message Americans should take home,” Barrett said in her concurring opinion.

Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Ketanji Brown Jackson differed from the majority opinion even though they ultimately ruled in Trump’s favor.

“Today, the majority goes beyond the necessities of this case to limit how Section 3 can bar an oath-breaking insurrectionist from becoming president. 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,” Sotomayor, Kagan and Jackson said.

The Supreme Court decision came out a day before Super Tuesday, the day 15 states hold their presidential primary elections.

“Not since Bush v. Gore, in 2000, has the Court so directly influenced the presidential election. By ruling against Colorado, the Supreme Court kept it and other states from removing Trump from the ballot using the insurrectionist ban in the 14th Amendment,” BYU political science professor Chris Krewson said.

Krewson also gave his thoughts on how the case would affect Trump’s favorability among voters.

“In my opinion, I doubt that the decision will affect perceptions of Trump. The justices appear to recognize that the decision could affect views of the Court, which is possible. Most concretely, the decision makes it more likely that Trump will be the Republican nominee,” Krewson said.

The full document with the Supreme Court decision can be found at supremecourt.gov.

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