Supreme Court Could Rule Monday on 14th Amendment Challenges to Trump’s Eligibility

News & Politics

In an unusual move, the Supreme Court announced that it would issue at least one ruling on Monday. Court watchers believe that the announcement indicates a major decision will be announced.

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Adding to the intrigue is that the court also announced that justices would not “take the bench” or enter the chamber and be seated while the decision is read. 

The justices were originally scheduled to return on March 15.

Could the justices be announcing the Trump eligibility decision the day before Super Tuesday? Colorado Republicans had requested that the Supreme Court announce their decision before the Colorado Republican primary on March 5. 

New York Times:

The ruling is likely to resolve not only whether Mr. Trump may appear on the Colorado primary ballot but also whether he is eligible to run in the general election. Indeed, the decision will almost certainly apply to any other state where Mr. Trump’s eligibility to run has been challenged.

Not since Bush v. Gore, the 2000 decision that handed the presidency to George W. Bush, has the Supreme Court assumed such a direct role in a presidential contest.

The justices have moved with unusual speed on the challenges to Trump’s eligibility. Trump’s appeal was filed on January 3 and was granted review on January 5. Oral arguments were scheduled about a month later. Now, less than a month after the arguments, it appears we’ll have a decision. 

The court indicated Sunday there will be at least one case decided Monday, adhering to its custom of not saying which one. But it also departed from its usual practice in some respects, heightening the expectation that it’s the Trump ballot case that will be handed down.

Except for when the end of the term nears in late June, the court almost always issues decisions on days when the justices are scheduled to take the bench. But the next scheduled court day isn’t until March 15. And apart from during the coronavirus pandemic when the court was closed, the justices almost always read summaries of their opinions in the courtroom. They won’t be there Monday.

Any opinions will post on the court’s website beginning just after 10 a.m. EST Monday.

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It’s hard to imagine the court disqualifying a candidate based on a Civil War-era law regarding “insurrection.” At least two of the conservative justices would have to vote with the three liberals to kick Trump off the ballot. 

Chief Justice John Roberts has shown a tendency to break from the conservatives on big cases. Otherwise, I don’t think there’s any chance of a fifth vote to uphold the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision and kick Trump off the ballot. 

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