Supreme Court hears historic Trump 14th Amendment case: Key moments – ABC News
The outcome could have major ramifications for the 2024 election.
Justice Alito expresses concern about states retaliating
The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday heard a historic case challenging Donald Trump‘s ability to hold office again over his role in the Capitol attack on Jan. 6, 2021.
Trump asked the justices to overturn an unprecedented Colorado Supreme Court decision deeming him ineligible to appear on the state’s GOP primary ballot because, it said, he “engaged in insurrection.” Trump has long denied any wrongdoing.
The legal battle centers on a previously obscure provision of the Constitution’s 14th Amendment — Section 3 — ratified shortly after the Civil War.
The nation’s hight court appeared highly critical of a Colorado Supreme Court decision that would ban Trump from the state’s 2024 GOP primary ballot under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment.
In more than two hours of oral arguments, each of the court’s nine justices expressed skepticism that an individual state has the authority to deny a candidate for federal office from the ballot as an “insurrectionist.”
While the court’s ultimate decision is not always clear based on the questions raised during a hearing, it appeared likely that a majority of the court is ready to reverse the Colorado decision and put an end to efforts nationwide seeking to disqualify Trump under the rarely used, 150-year-old Constitutional provision.
Read more about takeaways from the arguments here.
-ABC News’ Devin Dwyer and Isabella Murray
Donald Trump spoke from Mar-a-Lago in Florida moments after the arguments concluded at the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington.
The former president largely focused his criticism on President Joe Biden, but briefly addressed what transpired at the nation’s high court.
“In watching the Supreme Court today, I thought it was a very beautiful process,” he said. “I hope that democracy in this country will continue because right now we have a very, very tough situation with all of these radical left ideas.”
Justice Samuel Alito, questioning the Colorado solicitor general, brought up the possibility of other states retaliating and excluding another candidate from their ballot.
Shannon Stevenson sought to downplay those concerns.
“I think we have to have faith in our system that people will follow their election processes appropriately,” she said. “That they will take realistic views of what insurrection is under the 14th Amendment. Courts will review those decisions. This court may review some of them. But I don’t think that this court should take those threats too seriously in its resolution of this case.”
Shannon Stevenson, the Colorado solicitor general, is now representing Secretary of State Jena Griswold. She is making the case that Colorado has the power, under state election code, to disqualify candidates who are ineligible to assume the office they’re seeking.
“Nothing in the Constitution strips the states of their power to direct presidential elections in this way,” she said in her opening. “This case was handled capably and efficiently by the Colorado courts under a process that we’ve used to decide ballot changes for more than century. And as everyone agrees, the court now has the record that needs to to resolve these important issues.”