WASHINGTON (AP) — The fight to keep former President Donald Trump from the 2024 presidential ballot has reached the Supreme Court, sparking a historic case with significant implications for the upcoming election. Lawyers urging the justices to declare Trump ineligible argue that he orchestrated the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol in an effort to overturn the 2020 election results. The case is the high court’s first look at a provision of the 14th Amendment, which prohibits some individuals who “engaged in insurrection” from holding public office.
In a filing filled with vivid descriptions of the Jan. 6, 2021, violence at the Capitol, the lawyers pleaded with the justices not to shy away from their constitutional duty. They called on the court to uphold a first-of-its-kind Colorado court decision to bar the former president from the state’s primary ballot. The lawyers emphasized that no one, not even a former president, is above the law.
The case is scheduled for arguments in less than two weeks, with the potential to disrupt the 2024 presidential election. The disputed provision of the 14th Amendment states that anyone who swore an oath to uphold the Constitution and then engaged in insurrection against it is no longer eligible for state or federal office.
Trump’s lawyers have pushed back, arguing that efforts to keep him off the ballot threaten to disenfranchise millions of Americans and could lead to chaos. They also contend that Congress would need to enact legislation before states could invoke the provision to keep candidates off the ballot.
The court is dealing with the dispute under a compressed timeframe, with a decision potentially coming before Super Tuesday on March 5. Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley is Trump’s sole remaining significant GOP opponent, but both sides agree that the court needs to act quickly so that voters know whether Trump is eligible to hold the presidency.
The decision in this case could have significant ramifications for the 2024 presidential election, potentially altering the course of the race. As the court prepares to hear arguments, the outcome remains uncertain, leaving both Trump’s supporters and opponents in suspense.