US Supreme Court to Decide if Trump Can Run in 2024 in 14th Amendment Battle
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This week marks the first of what could be many legal issues involving former President Donald Trump and the U.S. Supreme Court.
On Thursday, the justices will hear arguments over whether states can remove Trump from 2024 ballots for his role in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol building.
This landmark case will largely hinge on how the word "insurrection" is defined, whether the events of Jan. 6 fit that definition and if the justices rule Trump played a major part.
"Even though President Trump didn't engage in that behavior directly, they might argue that he encouraged it and therefore would be part of the process of insurrection," Dr. Mark Caleb Smith, director of the Center for Political Studies at Cedarville University told CBN News.
In December, the Colorado state supreme court disqualified Trump "from holding the office of president under section 3 of the 14th Amendment" asserting he was "ineligible because he engaged in insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021, after swearing an oath as president to support the U.S. Constitution."
"The Constitution uses the word officer, but it doesn't define President necessarily, as one of those officers," explained Smith. "It lists other officers clearly but it doesn't say the presidency is included. So there's going to be some question about whether or not it actually includes the President of the United States."
In their opening brief to the court, Trump's lawyers called for a reversal of Colorado's decision because "the president is not an "officer of the United States" under the Constitution."
"The Supreme Court in the past has said that officers of the United States refers to people who are appointed by the President, but not the President himself," said John Malcolm of The Heritage Foundation. "Therefore, the President is not one of the people that is covered by that clause, that section of the 14th Amendment."
Trump's attorneys are also calling for a "swift and decisive end to these ballot-disqualification efforts, which threaten to disenfranchise tens of millions of Americans and which promise to unleash chaos and bedlam."
Malcolm told CBN News he expects a quick ruling.
"I would be very, very surprised if there is not an opinion issued by the end of February," he predicted. "If they agree with the Colorado Supreme Court, and I don't think they will, then he would be barred from being elected as President of the United States."
The Supreme Court has received hundreds of pages of documents supporting the appeal from people including almost 200 congressional Republicans, and several of Trump's former 2024 GOP primary rivals.
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