The Supreme Court (SC) should declare that Donald Trump is ineligible to be President again because he spearheaded the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol in an effort to overturn his 2020 election loss, lawyers leading the fight to keep him off the ballot told the justices on Friday.
In a filing filled with vivid descriptions of the Jan. 6, 2021, violence at the Capitol, the lawyers urged the justices not to flinch from doing their constitutional duty and to uphold a first-of-its-kind Colorado court decision to kick the 2024 Republican Presidential front-runner off the state’s primary ballot.
“Nobody, not even a former President, is above the law,” the lawyers wrote.
The Court will hear arguments in less than two weeks in a historic case that has the potential to disrupt the 2024 Presidential Election.
The case presents the High Court with its first look at a provision of the 14th Amendment barring some people who “engaged in insurrection” from holding public office. The amendment was adopted in 1868, following the Civil War.
In their plea to the Court, the lawyers said, “Trump intentionally organised and incited a violent mob to attack the United States Capitol in a desperate effort to prevent the counting of electoral votes cast against him” after he lost the election to Democrat Joe Biden.
They called for a decision that makes clear that what happened on Jan. 6 was an insurrection, for which Trump bears responsibility. The President is covered by the constitutional provision at issue, and Congress doesn’t need to take action before states can apply it, the lawyers wrote.
The written filing includes extensive details of Trump’s actions leading up to Jan. 6, including his tweet on Dec. 19, 2020, in which he informed his followers of the planned protest on the day Congress would count the electoral votes and wrote, “Be there, will be wild.”
Then in his speech to supporters on Jan. 6, the lawyers wrote, “Trump lit the fuse.” The brief reproduces photographs of the mayhem from that day, including one of U.S. Capitol Police Officer Daniel Hodges pinned in a doorway during the attack.
Trump’s lawyers have argued that efforts to keep him off the ballot “threaten to disenfranchise tens of millions of Americans and … promise to unleash chaos and bedlam” if other states follow Colorado’s lead.
The Colorado Supreme Court’s 4-3 ruling should be reversed for any of several reasons, Trump’s lawyers wrote, including that Trump did not engage in insurrection and that the Presidency is not covered by the amendment. They also contend that Congress would have to enact legislation before states could invoke the provision to keep candidates off the ballot. (AP)
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