The escalating legal battle involving former President Donald Trump's eligibility for the 2024 election has moved closer to potential U.S. Supreme Court intervention.
Trump is appealing a ruling by a Colorado lower court, which found him guilty of incitement during the January 6th insurrection but permitted him to stay on the 2024 primary ballot.
The application for review submitted by Trump urges the Colorado Supreme Court to reconsider lower court findings, specifically those of Judge Sarah Wallace, who concluded that Trump incited the Capitol attack on January 6, 2021.
Constitutional law expert Kent Greenfield opined that if the state appeals court rules against Trump, the former President will likely take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court. If that happens, the Supreme Court will probably agree to hear the case.
"If that happens, it is highly likely that the Court will hear the case, and on an expedited schedule. This could be the most important political case the Court has heard since Bush v. Gore."
Greenfield also made it clear that if the appeals court rules in Trump's favor, the U.S. Supreme Court is unlikely to consider the case. This makes the Colorado Supreme Court's decision critical in shaping the future of this legal dispute.
The series of lawsuits and appeals surrounding Trump's eligibility for the 2024 elections has brought to the fore the need for clarity in constitutional interpretation. Former federal prosecutor Neama Rahmani underscored this, highlighting the inconsistent rulings on the matter across the country. Rahmani said:
"Some judges have dismissed lawsuits on standing grounds, while others have said it's a political issue to be decided by Congress, or that Section 3 of the 14th Amendment doesn't apply to primary races. And in Colorado, surprisingly, the judge ruled that a President is not an officer of the United States. The rulings are all over the place, so the Justices have to define the standard to review these 14th Amendment challenges if it's even something lower courts can address."
Greenfield agreed, arguing that the interpretation in Colorado, which suggested the President is not covered by Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, is "ludicrous."
The next step in this ongoing legal saga is the Colorado Supreme Court's review of the case. The court's ruling will determine whether the case progresses to the U.S. Supreme Court or ends in Colorado.
Whatever the outcome, it is clear that this case raises significant questions about the interpretation and application of the U.S. Constitution. The decision will also set precedents for future electoral disputes and may well reshape the political landscape of the country.
As the nation waits for the Colorado Supreme Court's decision, the stakes could not be higher. The outcome holds the potential to influence not only the 2024 presidential race but also the broader understanding of constitutional law and presidential eligibility.