Supreme Court says states cannot remove Trump from 2024 ballot — By: Catholic News Agency

U.S. Supreme Court building. / Credit: Steven Frame/Shutterstock

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Mar 4, 2024 / 12:33 pm (CNA).

The Supreme Court unanimously ruled on Monday that states cannot remove former President Donald Trump from the ballot ahead of the 2024 elections.

The 9-0 decision, issued Monday morning, reversed a December 2023 ruling by the Colorado Supreme Court that had disqualified Trump from that state’s ballot. That order had directed state authorities to not list him on the 2024 presidential ballot and to not count any write-in votes for him.

The Colorado decision claimed the state had the authority to bar Trump from the ballot under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment for his role in allegedly inciting an insurrection against the federal government on Jan. 6, 2021.

After the Colorado ruling, an Illinois judge issued a similar order, while Maine’s attorney general said the state would bar Trump from the ballot. Several other states signaled similar plans

The Supreme Court justices this week argued that while states have the authority under the 14th Amendment to bar individuals from state office, they do not have the power to bar anyone from federal office, with that authority being held by Congress alone.

“Nothing in the Constitution delegates to the states any power to enforce Section 3 against federal officeholders and candidates,” the court wrote. “It would be incongruous to read this particular amendment as granting the states the power — silently no less — to disqualify a candidate for federal office.”

“We conclude that states may disqualify persons holding or attempting to hold state office. But states have no power under the Constitution to enforce Section 3 with respect to federal offices, especially the presidency.”

While the decision was unanimous, Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and Ketanji Brown Jackson issued a separate concurring opinion in which they said that while they agree states do not have the authority to keep individuals from federal office, they believe that authority is held by other federal powers in addition to Congress.  

The decision comes as Trump is widely expected to dominate the Super Tuesday Republican primaries this week. Trump has won every state Republican primary thus far, losing only one primary in Washington, D.C., to former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley on Sunday.

Leading Haley by more than 60 percentage points in the latest 538 poll, Trump is expected to once again be the Republican Party’s candidate for president in 2024, setting up a rematch between Trump and President Joe Biden in November. 

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