In what is expected to be a landmark legal case, the US Supreme Court has heard arguments to decide whether former president Donald Trump can be on the ballot in November 2024 election.
The justices asked tough questions of the lawyer representing the state, a situation regarded as the justices being sceptical of Colorado’s arguments.
During the hearing, Trump’s team centered their arguments on the wording of US Constitution clause, which according to them does not apply to him.
On the thornier question in the case-whether Trump actually engaged in insurrection on 6 January 2021, the team answered in the negative “No”, because what happened 6 January was “a riot, not insurrection”.
On the other hand, Colorado’s lawyers defended the state’s ruling, positing that the amendment in the case acts as a “safety valve” for democracy in the US, adding that states have the power to use the amendment.
It will be recalled that in 2023, Colorado’s top court disqualified Trump from its presidential election ballot, citing an amendment clause in the US Constitution-Section 3 of the 14th Amendment-which bans anyone who has “engaged in insurrection or rebellion from holding federal office.”
Meanwhile, Donald Trump reacting to the Supreme Court’s hearing called it “a very beautiful process”, adding that he hopes democracy will continue.
Speaking to reporters outside his Florida residence, Mar-a-Lago, Trump according to BBC, questioned whether 6 January was an insurrection-and said his words at the time were “very heart-warming statements” and telling people to go home. He further said that the Democratic Party was weaponising politics, by bringing up various legal cases against him. “It’s election interference,” he claims in his appeal against the decision.Colorado’s primary holds 5 March, less than a month away. Trump’s name will be on the ballot regardless of the ruling because of printing and election deadlines, but the state needs to know whether to count those votes.
The ruling from the USA’s top nine justices will apply nationwide.