Washington. Can Trump run for president again after his supporters storm the Capitol? His detractors argue that he has forfeited this right. Now the Supreme Court has raised the question.
The US Supreme Court intervened in a legal dispute over Donald Trump's participation in the Republican presidential primaries. The Supreme Court announced late afternoon (local time) that it would take up the former US president and current presidential candidate's request. The case will be heard on February 8 in the capital Washington.
Trump is seeking to overturn a ruling by the state of Colorado that disqualified him from running in the 2021 primary because of his role in the 2021 attack on the US Capitol. Trump opponents are filing lawsuits across the country to argue that the Republican Party has forfeited its right to run for president again. The top election supervisor in the state of Maine recently made a decision similar to the one in Colorado. In Michigan and Minnesota, efforts to disqualify Trump failed. Related cases are still pending elsewhere.
Due to the conflicting results, it was assumed that the primary election dispute would eventually end up before the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court's substantive decision on primary elections in Colorado should also resolve open cases in other states because the plaintiffs' arguments are the same everywhere.
These are the backgrounds
Trump wants to run again as a Republican in the US presidential election in early November. Anyone who wants to run for president, either Republican or Democratic, must first win the party's internal primaries. Plaintiffs in various states have been trying for some time to block Trump from participating in the primaries and remove the 77-year-old's name from the ballot.
On January 6, 2021, Trump supporters violently stormed the Capitol in Washington. Congress met there to formally confirm Democrat Joe Biden's victory over Trump in the 2020 presidential election. Earlier in his speech, Trump incited his supporters with baseless claims that the election victory was stolen from him through massive fraud. As a result of the riots, five people died.
In their lawsuits, Trump opponents cite the so-called sedition ban in the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. Accordingly, no one who has previously participated as an official in a revolt against the government can hold a high office in the state. Although the passage gives some examples of such high offices, the office of president is not explicitly listed.
In a petition to the Supreme Court, Trump's lawyers argue that the Colorado court overstepped its authority. The question of presidential fitness belongs to the US Congress, not the state courts. The constitutional amendment relied on by the plaintiffs does not apply in the Trump case. Trump's campaign called the Colorado court ruling “un-American, unconstitutional election interference.”
And so it goes on
Time is running out. When the case comes up for hearing in the Supreme Court on February 8, Republican primaries have already taken place in some states. In Colorado and Maine they take place on March 5th – known as Super Tuesday. After that polling will be held across the states. Ballots are printed in advance.
As for Democrats, Biden wants to run for a second term. He has no fierce internal competition. Among Republicans, Trump is leading in polls among the party's internal presidential candidates.
During his tenure, Trump shifted the majority of the US Supreme Court to the right. Six of the nine justices are now considered conservative. However, the Supreme Court has not always ruled in his favor. In addition to the legal dispute over his participation in the primaries, the Republican faces several major court actions in the coming months on various criminal charges — including an attack on the Capitol and his efforts to retroactively change the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.
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