Supreme Court Urged to Move Fast on Trump’s Ballot Eligibility


The Supreme Court was asked on Thursday to fast-track its review of the stunning Colorado Supreme Court ruling that former President Donald J. Trump was ineligible to appear on the state’s primary ballot.

The request was made by the six voters who won in the state court, which ruled that Mr. Trump is subject to Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. That provision bars officials who promised to support the Constitution from holding office again after engaging in insurrection.

The voters also told the justices that they would not oppose review of that decision.

There are cases pending in several states challenging Mr. Trump’s eligibility on the same grounds. A definitive ruling by the Supreme Court would apply nationwide and settle the matter.

The voters’ request to accelerate the case came the day after the Colorado Republican Party asked the justices to review the state court’s ruling. Mr. Trump has not filed a promised petition seeking review of the ruling, and his general practice has been to move as slowly as possible in the legal proceedings against him.

But the Colorado Republican Party asked the justices on Wednesday to hear its own appeal of the decision.

“The historical significance of this decision cannot be overstated,” the party’s petition said. “The Colorado Supreme Court has removed the leading Republican candidate from the primary and general ballots, fundamentally changing the course of American democracy.”

In a motion, lawyers for the party proposed a brisk schedule, asking the justices to resolve the case by March 5, when multiple states hold primaries on a day known as Super Tuesday. If it is not, they said, voters “will face profound uncertainty and the electoral process will be irrevocably damaged.”

“Under the standard briefing schedules provided by this court’s rules, the case would not be argued and decided until well into 2024,” the motion said. “Meanwhile, 2024 is a presidential election year, with the first primary elections and party caucuses scheduled to take place in January and more than half of the state primary elections to be concluded by the end of Super Tuesday. ”

In their own motion, the six voters who prevailed in the Colorado Supreme Court urged the justices to move even faster. They asked that the U.S. Supreme Court order Mr. Trump to file his petition seeking review by Jan. 2 and that the justices consider whether to hear the case at their private conference on Jan. 5.

The voters said that they would not oppose the party’s petition seeking review of two aspects of the state court’s decision: that Section 3 of the 14th Amendment applies to the presidency and that congressional action is not required before the court can act.

If the U.S. Supreme Court grants review, the voters proposed that arguments be heard Jan. 19.

Voting in Colorado is almost exclusively by mail, and state officials start mailing ballots to in-state voters on Feb. 12. “Having a decision on the merits by Feb. 11 would ensure that every in-state Colorado voter knows of this court’s decision before receiving their ballot and casting their primary vote,” the voters’ motion said.

The motion added that the case presents questions of “exceptional national importance.”

“Colorado, along with fifteen other states and territories, holds its presidential primary on Super Tuesday, March 5, 2024,” the filing said. “This motion seeks to expedite the court’s consideration of this petition and any petition filed by Trump, and any subsequent review on the merits, so that the important question of Trump’s eligibility can be resolved by this court before most primary voters cast their ballots.”



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