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Will the Supreme Court Decide if Trump Can Run for President in 2024?

The US Supreme Court has agreed to take up a case determining whether Donald Trump can run for president again in 2024. This historic hearing will decide if the former president is barred from federal office due to his role in the January 6 Capitol insurrection.

The court’s ruling on whether Trump can run for president again will have nationwide implications. It has set oral arguments for February, with the decision expected before the primary season kicks off in early March.

Lawsuit Seeks to Invoke 14th Amendment

The case arises from a lawsuit filed in Colorado seeking to remove Trump from the state’s ballot. It argues that Section 3 of the 14th Amendment disqualifies him from the presidency for engaging in insurrection.

This clause prohibits any person from holding office if they have taken part in “insurrection or rebellion” against the US. The lawsuit contends Trump’s conduct during the riot amounts to participating in rebellion.

Trump Appeals Colorado Ruling

In October 2022, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs by a 4-3 vote. It became the first court to invoke the 14th Amendment to bar a presidential candidate.

Trump’s legal team promptly appealed to the nation’s highest court against this ruling. They argue that the 14th Amendment does not apply to the president.

27 States Support Trump’s Appeal

The Supreme Court’s decision to hear Trump’s appeal came after 27 states filed a brief requesting them to overturn the Colorado verdict. They warned that barring Trump from the presidential race would “create widespread chaos” and uncertainty.

The states also contend that the power to assess qualifications for federal office rests solely with Congress, not the courts. This separation of powers argument forms a key plank of Trump’s appeal against being barred from the race for president again.

Fast-Track Schedule for Hearing, Ruling

Given the urgency concerning the 2024 election cycle, the Supreme Court has set an exceptionally accelerated schedule for this case on eligibility of Trump to run for president again.

Oral arguments will take place on February 8, with Trump’s legal team ordered to file their initial brief by January 18. The ruling is expected to be announced before March when primaries in Colorado and other states begin.

This rapid timeline reflects the court’s awareness regarding the need to urgently settle ambiguities surrounding Trump’s candidacy for president in 2024.

Disqualification Would Upend Early Campaigning

Legal experts highlight that adjudicating whether Trump can run for president again must happen quickly given active campaigning is already underway.

If Trump is disqualified after the primaries start in March, it would throw the Republican field into disarray after months of campaigning by Trump and other candidates.

Implications for the 2024 Race

Trump currently leads the field of Republican presidential candidates for 2024, both in fundraising as well as polls. Hence the Supreme Court’s ruling on his eligibility will have momentous implications for the GOP primary race.

It would also determine the final Republican nominee who will go up against President Joe Biden, assuming he runs for re-election.

Colorado First to Invoke 14th Amendment

The Colorado court’s opinion marked the first time that a state barred a presidential candidate from the ballot under the 14th Amendment.

Invoking Section 3 disqualifying those engaged in “insurrection” makes the case against Trump unprecedented in American judicial and political history too.

Other States Review Trump’s Candidacy

In addition to Colorado, the state of Maine has also removed Trump from its presidential ballot based on claims he engaged in the January 6 insurrection.

Courts in states like Georgia, Minnesota, and Michigan rejected pleas to bar Trump from running for president again. But the definitive word will come from the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the insurrection clause applicability to Trump.

Trump Team Cites ‘Disenfranchisement’

The crux of Trump’s legal defense against being barred from seeking the presidency rests on the huge public disenfranchisement.

His attorneys have argued that nullifying the votes of millions of citizens who may vote for him in primaries and the presidential election itself cannot be justified.

Supreme Court Leans Conservative

The Supreme Court now has a 6-3 conservative tilt after Trump appointed three justices during his presidency – Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett.

But in 2020, the same court had rejected Trump’s lawsuits against election results in various states won by Biden. So the bench’s ideological makeup alone does not guarantee a favorable verdict on whether Trump can run for the president again.

The Final Word on Eligibility

As Trump vies to return to the White House in 2024, the Supreme Court hearing will deliver the definitive ruling on whether the assault on US democracy he is accused of inciting will end his political career.

The bench’s interpretation of “insurrectionist” under the 14th Amendment will effectively make or break Trump’s hopes of running for president again. Either way, the verdict will have immense implications for America’s political future.

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