The Supreme Court unanimously ruled Monday that Donald Trump can appear on the Colorado state primary ballot, shutting down dozens of similar efforts to ban him from the election for his role in the January 6 insurrection.
The nation’s highest court heard arguments in early February about whether Colorado could disqualify Trump from its ballot under Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment. The majority of the justices had seemed skeptical at the time, and apparently remained so by the time they issued their ruling.
The justices’ decision means that Maine, which had also disqualified Trump from its presidential primary ballot, must reinstate him.
“Because the Constitution makes Congress, rather than the States, responsible for enforcing Section 3 against federal officeholders and candidates, we reverse,” the justices wrote in their ruling.
The Colorado state Supreme Court ruled in December that Trump had engaged in insurrection during the January 6 attack and was therefore ineligible to appear on the primary ballot. Little more than a week later, Maine’s secretary of state also barred him from the state’s ballot.
Multiple other states either are currently weighing or have decided whether Trump can appear on their ballot. The range in decisions prompted many to urge the Supreme Court to weigh in quickly, to avoid confusion ahead of the election.
Trump’s lawyers had said repeatedly they expected the Supreme Court to rule in their favor, even hinting it would be because some of the justices owed Trump some form of allegiance. Trump appointed three of the current justices.
Monday’s decision will provide a single rule for all states for the rest of the election cycle. But it will also likely shape how the Fourteenth Amendment’s language will be interpreted going forward.
This is a developing story.