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U.S. Supreme Court unanimously rules in favor of Trump in Colorado ballot case

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The 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution gives Congress – not the states – the authority to remove a candidate from the presidential primary ballot, the U.S. Supreme court unanimously ruled on Monday.

The Colorado Supreme Court ruled last year former President Donald Trump could be removed from the state’s presidential primary ballot for his actions on Jan. 6, 2021. Colorado’s highest court, in a 4-3 decision, overturned a district court ruling as District Court Judge Sarah Wallace ruled Trump’s speech on Jan. 6 “incited lawless violence” but didn’t meet the definition of “engagement” found in the 14th Amendment.

Trump appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court and although the decision was unanimous, four female justices wrote opinions clarifying many arguments and case law. The ruling comes days after the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear arguments in April about whether Trump is immune from prosecution while serving as president.

The U.S. Supreme Court stated the U.S. Constitution makes Congress, not the states, the body responsible for enforcing Section Three of the 14th Amendment. Six Republicans in Colorado attempted to legally remove Trump from the 2024 primary ballot under the 14th Amendment, arguing the states could take action against federal officeholders and candidates.

In an opinion she wrote concurring with the judgment, Justice Amy Coney Barrett, appointed by Trump, appealed for the nation to end political hostility.

“In my judgment, this is not the time to amplify disagreement with stridency,” Barrett wrote. “The Court has settled a politically charged issue in the volatile season of a Presidential election. Particularly in this circumstance, writings on the Court should turn the national temperature down, not up. For present purposes, our differences are far less important than our unanimity: All nine Justices agree on the outcome of this case. That is the message Americans should take home.”

In another concurring opinion written by Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, Ketanji Brown Jackson stated the court gave Congress more power than other federal bodies.

“Today, the majority goes beyond the necessities of this case to limit how Section 3 can bar an oath breaking insurrectionist from becoming President,” the justices wrote. “Although we agree that Colorado cannot enforce Section 3, we protest the majority’s effort to use this case to define the limits of federal enforcement of that provision. Because we would decide only the issue before us, we concur only in the judgment.”

When Colorado voters go to the polls on Tuesday, they will be able to vote for Trump to be the Republican nominee in the presidential primary and it will count.

The nation’s highest court agreed to hear the appeal of former President Trump in early January. Colorado Democrat Secretary of State Jena Griswold urged the U.S. Supreme Court to prioritize the case and make a ruling as soon as possible.

“In accordance with this decision, Donald Trump is an eligible candidate on Colorado’s 2024 Presidential Primary,” Griswold said in a statement immediately after the ruling.

However, the Colorado Supreme Court added a stipulation for Trump’s name to be added to the state’s 2024 presidential primary ballot if he appealed the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Each of the U.S. Supreme Court justices questioned the constitutional arguments on Feb. 8.

This story is developing and will be updated.