Unanimous Supreme Court rightly rejects ballot chaos

It is important but not surprising that the Supreme Court unanimously rejected Democratic Party efforts to remove former President Donald Trump from presidential ballots in states the party controls. It is also not surprising, but highly telling, that many Democratic operatives, law school professors, and columnists opined that the 14th Amendment empowered states to remove presidential candidates on a whim. 

After the court’s unanimous 9-0 decision Monday, voters across the country can see how desperate Democrats are to use lawfare to deny citizens the democratic right to choose their next leader. It is not a good look for the Democratic Party or President Joe Biden, and it helps Trump’s campaign

The Colorado Supreme Court was the first state entity to declare that Section 3 of the 14th Amendment precluded Trump from appearing on the state’s presidential ballot, but a judge in Illinois and Maine’s secretary of state quickly issued copycat decisions.

The operative portion of Section 3 reads, “No person shall … hold any office … under the United States … who, having previously taken an oath … as an officer of the United States … shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same.”

Democrats argued Trump’s speech before the Jan. 6 Capitol riot makes him an insurrectionist under this section and that states are therefore empowered to strike his name from the ballot.

Never mind that federal prosecutors have not even charged, let alone convicted, Trump of insurrection. A Colorado district court held a five-day trial, which Trump did not participate in, and concluded that Trump was an insurrectionist.

But this was just one court’s opinion. Under the Democrats’ theory, every state could hold separate trials to decide if Trump is an insurrectionist. The result would be a patchwork of rulings where access to the ballot was determined by the political bias of state judges. This never made sense, and it only shows how badly Trump has warped the thinking of those who took this argument seriously.

Although the Supreme Court issued three judgments on Monday, all nine judges flatly rejected the claim that states can unilaterally use the 14th Amendment to remove federal candidates from their ballots. In a section highlighted for agreement by the concurrence of the three Democratic-appointed justices on the court, the majority wrote, “State-by-state resolution of the question whether Section 3 bars a particular candidate for President from serving would be quite unlikely to yield a uniform answer consistent with the basic principle that ‘the President … represent[s] all voters in the Nation.’”

This “patchwork,” the majority continued, would “sever the direct link that the framers found so critical between the national government and the people of the United States.”


Colorado, Illinois, and Maine must now reverse course and keep Trump on the ballot, should he, as now seems inevitable, become the Republican nominee for president.

There are many, many reasons why Trump should not be president. We have made that case many times. But it is up to voters to decide, and Democrats’ legal shenanigans are probably making the public more likely to decide he should be.

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