Supreme Court Restores Trump to 2024 Ballots, Rejecting Capitol Riot Accountability

In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court restored Donald Trump to the 2024 presidential primary ballots, overturning state efforts to hold him accountable for the Capitol riot. The ruling, issued just before Super Tuesday primaries, emphasized that states cannot use a post-Civil War constitutional provision to bar presidential candidates, stating that such power lies with Congress.

Trump hailed the decision as a "BIG WIN FOR AMERICA!!!" on social media, marking the end of efforts in several states to remove him from the ballot due to his actions following the 2020 election. The case centered on the 14th Amendment, specifically Section 3, which aims to prevent former officeholders who "engaged in insurrection" from holding office again.

The decision disappointed Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold, who acknowledged that Trump would be on Colorado's ballot. While all nine justices agreed that Trump should remain on the ballot, there was disagreement over the interpretation of Section 3's application, particularly regarding the role of Congress in disqualifying candidates.

The case, the court's most direct involvement in a presidential election since Bush v. Gore, raised questions about its implications for Trump's potential presidency and legal challenges. The court's intervention, coming before a scheduled late April case regarding election interference charges related to the Capitol attack, could impact the timing of legal proceedings against Trump.

During arguments, justices questioned whether Congress must act before states can invoke the 14th Amendment and whether the provision applies to the presidency. Lawyers for voters seeking Trump's removal argued that his actions on Jan. 6 constituted an insurrection and that Section 3 does not require enabling legislation to apply.

Trump's legal team countered that the events of Jan. 6 were not an insurrection, and even if they were, Trump did not directly participate. They also argued that the wording of the amendment excludes the presidency and that Congress must pass legislation to enforce Section 3.

The decision was made by a court that includes three justices appointed by Trump, who have previously ruled against his claims of election fraud. Justice Clarence Thomas, the only current member who was on the bench during Bush v. Gore, declined calls to recuse himself due to his wife's support for Trump's election challenges.

Overall, the Supreme Court's decision reinstates Trump to the 2024 primary ballots, highlighting the complex legal questions surrounding the 14th Amendment and its application to presidential candidates. 

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