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Trump’s Presidential Candidacy Faces the Supreme Court

Written by Hannah Guanti

The legality of former President Donald Trump’s 2024 presidential candidacy is being taken before the U.S. Supreme Court this week. The nine justices must determine if Trump is eligible for a third Presidential run following his involvement in the events of January 6, 2021. 

In Fall of 2023, the case was brought to the State Supreme Court by six Colorado voters. The heart of their argument is a constitutional amendment from 1868, originally designed to disqualify former Confederates from holding office. 

The amendment is more colloquially known as the disqualification clause but specifically refers to Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. It ascertains that no one holding public office in the U.S. may engage in insurrection against the state or give aid to enemies of the state. 

This amendment has never been used to disqualify a presidential candidate, but in December the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that based on this clause, Trump is ineligible for the presidency and thus will not be on the state’s primary ballots. 

Now, the ruling is being taken to the Supreme Court and the court’s members must determine the legality of Colorado’s decision. 

Political analysts are drawing the comparison to the 2000 Bush v. Gore case in the Florida Supreme Court. In a clear difference from that case, the Supreme Court has never been so closely involved in a presidential election. 

It is hard to predict how this case will go, three of the justices on the court were appointed by President Trump, and it is likely they will have allegiance toward him. 

This ruling has large implications as the courts are also hearing another involved case later this year. In 2024, the courts will be determining the validity of the law used to charge those associated with January 6. 

Critics are also accusing Justice Clarence Thomas of possessing a conflict of interest due to his wife’s involvement in the January 6. events.