Trump Can Remain on the Ballot Without the Supreme Court’s Approval

  • The Colorado Supreme Court removed Trump from the primary ballot in December.
  • Trump has appealed the ruling to the US Supreme Court.
  • The state court left a workaround in its ruling. 
  • Maine has also removed Trump from the ballot.

( – Former President Donald Trump was acquitted by the Senate in 2022 for inciting an insurrection with his “Stop the Steal Rally” speech on January 6, 2021. Democrats and 10 Republicans impeached the former president over the Capitol Hill riot, claiming he orchestrated it in order to stay in power. Although the Senate cleared him, Special Counsel Jack Smith has charged him with four crimes related to the events of that day. That case has not gone to trial.

Still, two states have booted the former POTUS off the 2024 primary ballot, citing the events of January 6 and the 14th Amendment. Trump has asked the Supreme Court to intervene. However, there might be a way for the former president to stay on one of those ballots without a ruling from the nation’s high court.

A Workaround

In December, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled Trump was disqualified from the primary ballot because of his alleged role in the Capitol riot. The court ruled that it was a violation of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment and shouldn’t appear on the ballot. Section 3 prohibits officials who have engaged in an insurrection or rebellion against the US from serving in office again.

When the Colorado Supreme Court issued its ruling, the justices wrote that the former president would be allowed to remain on the ballot if he appealed the ruling to the US’s high court, and the justices did not take action before January 4. The ruling stated that Trump’s name would stay there “until the receipt of any order or mandate from the Supreme Court.”

Anthony Michael Kreis, a professor at Georgia State University College of Law, discussed the issue on X, formerly Twitter, saying the Colorado Court’s decision wouldn’t “alter the primary ballot unless the SCOTUS denies cert on or before” the deadline.

What About Maine?

Unlike Colorado, the decision to remove Trump from the ballot was not made by the state’s high court. In that case, Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows (D) removed the former president from the primary ballot. She cited the 14th Amendment as her reason for taking him off the ballot as well.

The secretary of state did not leave room for the former president to remain on the ballot like Colorado did.

Former President Trump has argued to the Supreme Court that Republican voters would be disenfranchised if the decision is allowed to stand. His legal team is also arguing that his removal could serve as a roadmap to disenfranchise millions around the country.

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