SCOTUS Rules States Cannot Determine Donald Trump’s Ballot Eligibility - Alliance for Justice

SCOTUS Rules States Cannot Determine Donald Trump’s Ballot Eligibility

Press Release



Executive Power & Civil Liberties, Voting Rights

Press Contact

Zack Ford

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 4, 2024 – Today, in a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court ruled that Donald Trump is eligible to remain on the Colorado ballot, saying that Congress, not individual states, must decide who is eligible for a federal office. Today’s decision applies to ballots in all states, not just the Colorado race. The decision made no mention of whether Trump participated in an insurrection; it simply noted, “Responsibility for enforcing Section 3 against federal officeholders and candidates rests with Congress and not the states.”

Justices Sotomayor, Kagan, and Jackson — and to a lesser extent Barrett — noted that the other justices went too far in prescribing how Section 3 can be enforced, potentially limiting the potential for any insurrectionist to ever be disqualified moving forward.

Alliance for Justice President Rakim H.D. Brooks issued the following statement:

“Although the decision appears unanimous, it was yet again an example of the conservative justices taking every opportunity to bend the law to their will. Justices Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor, and Ketanji Brown Jackson rightly castigate the majority for, again, overstepping their authority and creating new rules for enforcing Section 3 that were neither written into the Constitution nor warranted by the facts of the case. It was enough (and even reasonable) to deny the Colorado Supreme Court authority to decide this issue for the nation — but why then punt entirely to Congress? Is it no longer emphatically the province of the Supreme Court to say what the law is?

“By deferring to Congress, the Court is essentially saying that if anyone — Trump or another person threatening the Constitution — is convicted of inciting an insurrection, the Court still would not disqualify him though the Constitution demands it. In other words, so long as Congress does not have the political will to disqualify an insurrectionist, the Fourteenth Amendment’s disqualification clause is dead and buried. We all deserve more from our highest court.”

Press Contact

Zack Ford
Press Secretary
(202) 464-7370