WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – Supreme Court justices heard arguments in a landmark case on whether former president Donald Trump is eligible for a third run for the White House.
The arguments lasted for about two hours as justices warned of the consequences this ruling could have on whether Trump can be disqualified from Colorado’s primary ballot because of his attempt to overturn the 2020 election.
“For the first time since the War of 1812, our nation’s capital came under violent assault,” said Jason Murray, Colorado voter’s attorney.
The case revolves around Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, prohibiting officials who commit insurrections from holding government positions.
“States cannot exclude any candidate for federal office from the ballot on account of Section 3,” said Trump’s attorney Jonathan Mitchell.
However, Chief Justice John Roberts seems skeptical of kicking the former president off the ballot and worries about the consequences.
“I would expect that. Goodly number of states will say whoever the Democratic candidate is you’re off the ballot and others for the Republican candidate you’re off the ballot,” said Roberts.
Justice Samuel Alito pointed out a problem with Colorado’s argument.
“Section 3 speaks about holding office not who may run for office” Alito said.
Shannon Stevenson, Colorado’s solicitor general, defended the states action’s saying, “nothing in the Constitution strips the states of their power to direct presidential elections in this way.”
Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson questioned the argument from Trump’s attorney saying what happened on January 6th did not meet the criteria for an insurrection.
Both sides urged the justices to come to a decision quickly. There is no true deadline, but the high court’s decision could have major ramifications in other states that have pending litigation to remove Trump from their 2024 ballots. If the court rules he can be kept off the ballot before Colorado’s March 5th primary, the state has said votes for him would not count.