Supreme Court Brief Claims Trump Did Not Engage In Insurrection

By Victor Winston, updated on January 20, 2024

The legal team of former President Donald Trump has taken a significant step in the ongoing political and legal saga surrounding his eligibility to run in the Colorado Republican presidential primary. They have filed a brief with the Supreme Court, contesting a decision that could impede his political ambitions.

In a contentious legal move, Trump's attorneys argue that the former president is not disqualified from appearing on the Colorado GOP primary ballot under the 14th Amendment's Insurrection Clause.

The brief, submitted to the highest court in the United States, challenges the earlier ruling by the Colorado Supreme Court. This ruling, which was decided by a narrow 4-3 margin, stated that Trump is ineligible to be on the Colorado GOP primary ballot, citing the 14th Amendment's Insurrection Clause. The legal team of the former president is now confronting this decision head-on.

Central to the argument presented by Trump's legal team is the interpretation of what constitutes an "officer of the United States." Their brief posits that the president is not included in this definition, a distinction they assert is supported by the language in three other constitutional provisions, apart from Section 3 of the 14th Amendment.

Delving into the Legal Nuances

This legal challenge also touches on the events of January 6. Trump's legal representatives contend that his actions and words on that day do not amount to incitement, Breitbart reported.

They argue that his speech called for a peaceful and respectful demonstration, in line with law and order, a stance that contradicts the views held by his critics.

Furthermore, the brief challenges the interpretation and enforcement of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. Trump's attorneys argue that this section's enforcement should be the sole province of Congress, not state courts or officials. This stance implies a significant limitation on the powers of state entities in adjudicating matters related to insurrection or rebellion.

One crucial point raised in the brief is the lack of federal charges against Trump. Despite extensive investigations, no prosecutor has charged the former president with insurrection under federal law, particularly under 28 U.S.C. § 2383, the legal provision that deals with rebellion or insurrection.

The brief further argues that Trump's actions do not meet the Brandenburg standard for incitement. This standard, established in a landmark Supreme Court case, sets a high bar for actions to be considered as incitement to violence.

Understanding the Constitutional Context

The legal team's argument extends beyond the immediate political implications, delving into constitutional interpretations. They highlight that the phrase "officer of the United States" excludes the president in multiple constitutional provisions.

"The text of section 3 does not confer enforcement authority on state courts or state officials, and it does not specify a process for determining whether an individual has ‘engaged in insurrection’ and disqualified himself from holding an enumerated office."

This statement from the brief underscores a significant aspect of their argument: the enforcement of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, according to them, lies beyond the purview of state courts.

With the Supreme Court scheduled to hear oral arguments on February 8, 2023, this case not only involves a complex mix of legal interpretations but also has far-reaching implications for American politics. It touches on the sensitive issues surrounding the events of January 6, 2021, while also exploring the boundaries of constitutional powers and the role of state versus federal authority.

Conclusion

The legal battle over former President Donald Trump's eligibility to appear on the Colorado GOP primary ballot under the 14th Amendment's Insurrection Clause is a multifaceted issue.

It encompasses constitutional interpretations, the events of January 6, the enforcement powers of state versus federal authorities, and the ongoing political narrative surrounding Trump's actions and future ambitions.

As the Supreme Court prepares to hear this case, the outcome will undoubtedly have significant repercussions for American politics and legal precedent.

About Victor Winston

Victor is a freelance writer and researcher who focuses on national politics, geopolitics, and economics.

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