In an expected announcement last week, the U.S. Supreme Court said it is willing to take up Trump’s appeal of the Colorado case after the state court ruled 4-3 Trump committed insurrection against the federal government when his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol. By doing so, the court said, Trump violated Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment and is unqualified to run for president again.
While Colorado and Maine attack Donald Trump's presidential campaign, 27 other states have gone on the offensive in support of the 45th president, encouraging the nation's highest court to keep him on GOP primary ballots. More details...
The 14th Amendment was written and passed in 1866, months after the Civil War, to grant citizenship and constitutional rights to former black slaves. In a separate provision, known as Section 3, Southerners were blocked from holding public office because they had engaged in “insurrection” against the United States.
The high court will hear the Trump case Feb. 8. Colorado’s presidential primary is March 5.
Christian Adams, who leads the Public Interest Legal Foundation, has filed an amicus brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse the Colorado ruling. The 16-page brief argues the Colorado judges ruled in error because Section 3 no longer applies since it was repealed by Congress – twice – in the 1800s.
"It's a fairly cut and dried issue,” Adams tells AFN. “The Congress repealed this part of the Constitution in 1898, for example, as part of its power under the Section 3 to do so.”
As the country healed and left the war in the past, Congress repealed the provision about holding office in 1872 with passage of the Amnesty Act. Congress did so again in 1898 with a second federal law in a second act of amnesty to the once-rebellious Southern states.
So there is no way, Adams argues, the nation’s highest court will apply a provision that was repealed 125 years ago to a candidate running in 2024.
“Whenever you have petty bureaucrats restricting the right to vote for the candidate of choice of millions of Americans,” Adams says, “this is what they did in Soviet Russia to make the elections a one-party election. And it's not what we do in America."
The riot in and around the U.S. Capitol provided political fodder for Democrats, who blamed Trump for the violent mob and impeached him a second time. In a 57-43 vote, the Democrat-led Senate voted to convict Trump of inciting an insurrection. That vote came up 10 votes short and he was acquitted.
Expecting Trump to run for re-election, some far-left groups have vowed to use Section 3 to keep him out of the White House. Those groups were encouraged about their plans in May 2022, when a federal appeals court ruled the Amnesty Act does not shield candidates from being barred from public office.