The Supreme Court is hearing arguments Thursday that likely Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is ineligible to hold the presidency and should be removed from Colorado’s ballot because of his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.
Recall that Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, or CREW, filed a lawsuit on behalf of six Colorado voters in September.
The lawsuit invokes Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which was ratified in 1868 to prevent former Confederate officials and military personnel from returning to power after the Civil War in 1861-65.
The nine justices, three of whom were appointed by Trump, are hearing arguments on his appeal of a lower court’s decision to disqualify the former president in Colorado’s Republican primary under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which bars from holding office anyone who took an oath of office, then violated it and “participated in rebellion or insurrection.”
Trump’s lawyers argue that Section 3 does not apply to presidents, that the events of Jan. 6 were not an insurrection and that Trump was merely exercising his right to free speech.
Trump did not attend the hearing. Instead, he plans to travel to Nevada, according to a source familiar with his plans. The Nevada nomination caucus will be held Thursday night.
At the start of the hearing, judges questioned Trump’s attorney Jonathan Mitchell.
Earlier this week, a federal appeals court rejected Trump’s claim that he has “absolute immunity” from prosecution on criminal charges in another election interference case.
That case was brought by special prosecutor Jack Smith in district court in Washington, D.C., resulting in four indictments related to Trump’s wide-ranging efforts to undermine the 2020 election.
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