Should States Have the Authority to Block Former President Trump from the Ballot?
Minnesota Supreme Court justices expressed skepticism about whether states can prevent former President Donald Trump from running for office again. They suggested that Congress should decide whether his involvement in the 2021 U.S. Capitol attack should disqualify him from running.
The oral arguments before the state Supreme Court took place during an unprecedented week, as courts in two states were deliberating on the interpretation of the insurrection clause in the 14th Amendment. The Minnesota lawsuit and a similar one in Colorado are among several cases filed across the country to bar Trump from state ballots in 2024 because of his role in the Capitol attack.
A National Matter
Minnesota Supreme Court justices questioned the appropriateness of states determining a candidate’s eligibility to run for president. They emphasized the fundamental role for Congress to play in deciding eligibility, as evidenced by its responsibility to certify presidential electors and impeach.
The Chaos of Inconsistent Decisions
Chief Justice Natalie E. Hudson expressed concern about the potential chaos that could arise if multiple states decided the issue differently. She questioned whether it is the court’s role to keep Trump off the ballot, asking, “Should we is the question that concerns me the most.”
Basic Processing Requirements
An attorney representing Trump argued that states’ roles in determining candidates’ eligibility for president are limited to basic processing requirements, such as verifying age. He emphasized that this case is not a one-off and that the court must consider the implications of its decision on the entire democratic process.
A Political Question
Trump’s legal team asked the court to dismiss the lawsuit, arguing that the question of his eligibility is a political one. They maintained that it is not for the courts to decide and that the insurrection clause of the 14th Amendment does not apply to presidents.
The central issue in the Minnesota and Colorado cases is how to define an insurrection under the 14th Amendment. Attorneys for the Minnesota voters argued that the storming of the Capitol on January 6, 2021, met the definition of an insurrection or rebellion. Trump’s lawyers disagreed, stating that it did not reach the scale and scope of an insurrection.
The Role of Congress
The section of the 14th Amendment dealing with insurrection does not explicitly mention the office of the president. However, it refers to the “elector of president and vice president.” This ambiguity was debated in both the Minnesota and Colorado cases, with justices questioning the omission of the word “president” in Section Three.
Trump’s case will continue with further arguments and testimonies. The outcome of these cases could have significant implications for Trump’s eligibility to run for president in 2024 and the power of states to determine candidates’ eligibility.
Source: AP News
Read More of this Story at apnews.com – 2023-11-02 22:36:00
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