Trump ballot eligibility case: What to know for Supreme Court hearing Thursday

DENVER (KDVR) — The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in a case that will determine whether former President Donald Trump is disqualified to hold office under the 14th Amendment.

The case stems from a lawsuit filed against Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold. The lawsuit argued that Trump could not appear on the ballot in Colorado because he engaged in insurrection by trying to overturn his 2020 election loss and was thus disqualified under the 14th Amendment.

Section 3 of the 14th Amendment was created to keep former officeholders who “engaged in insurrection” from regaining power.

How to stream Supreme Court oral arguments

The Supreme Court of the United States doesn’t allow people to watch oral arguments of cases, but an audio feed is available. KDVR.com will carry this stream live online in its entirety with some portions taken live on FOX31.

  • Start time: Thursday, 8 a.m. MT
  • Listen online: KDVR.com will have a live stream of the Supreme Court hearing for its entirety.

Arguments are expected to last about 80 minutes total, meaning they will likely be done by 9:30 a.m.

Coverage of Trump ballot case on FOX31

FOX31’s Ashley Michels will be in Washington, D.C., to cover the case starting Wednesday.

In addition to attending the hearing in person, Michels will be talking to key players in the case.

Thursday morning, FOX31 and KWGN Channel 2 will include coverage once the hearing begins.

Michels will have added context for FOX31 News at 4, 5, 9 and 10 p.m.

While in the nation’s capital, Michels will record interviews and other content for Colorado Point of View, which airs Sunday at 7:30 a.m. on Channel 2.

What we know so far

After a weeklong hearing in November, Colorado District Judge Sarah B. Wallace found that Trump indeed had “engaged in insurrection” by inciting the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, and her ruling that kept him on the ballot was a fairly technical one.

Trump’s attorneys convinced Wallace that, because the language in Section 3 refers to “officers of the United States” who take an oath to “support” the Constitution, it must not apply to the president, who is not included as an “officer of the United States” elsewhere in the document and whose oath is to “preserve, protect and defend” the Constitution.

The provision also says offices covered include senator, representative, electors of the president and vice president, and all others “under the United States,” but doesn’t name the presidency.

The state’s highest court didn’t agree, siding with attorneys for six Colorado Republican and unaffiliated voters who argued that it was nonsensical to imagine that the framers of the amendment, fearful of former confederates returning to power, would bar them from low-level offices but not the highest one in the land.

“President Trump asks us to hold that Section 3 disqualifies every oathbreaking insurrectionist except the most powerful one and that it bars oath-breakers from virtually every office, both state and federal, except the highest one in the land,” the court’s majority opinion said. “Both results are inconsistent with the plain language and history of Section 3.”

The left-leaning group that brought the Colorado case, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, hailed the ruling.

“Our Constitution clearly states that those who violate their oath by attacking our democracy are barred from serving in government,” its president, Noah Bookbinder, said in a statement.

Trump’s attorneys also had urged the Colorado high court to reverse Wallace’s ruling that Trump incited the Jan. 6 attack. His lawyers argued the then-president had simply been using his free speech rights and hadn’t called for violence. Trump attorney Scott Gessler also argued the attack was more of a “riot” than an insurrection.

The United States Supreme Court has not released information about how long after the oral arguments it will take to issue a ruling.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


Source: Rocky Mountain News

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