20 December 2023

Trump DQ case: seems likely the Supreme Court will overrule in nationwide decision

  I think the Supreme Court will (properly, actually) see the Colorado Trump disqualification ruling as a case where its ruling on appeal has to be swift and applicable nationwide. Either the facts are such that Trump is ineligible to run under the pretty plain language of the 14th, or they are not. The Constitution does not require a trial (or a Congressional finding), so a finding of fact by judges is sufficient. (The Jan 6 trial with a guilty verdict would be more ironclad). I just don't see this SC letting the Colorado ruling stand. They can't really punt: they will have to rule "special case" that Trump is not guilty of "engaging" in insurrection (or, less likely since it would have unpredictable reverberations, that he was not at the time a "Federal officer" under the plain language of the provision). I think this case will end up resembling, perhaps more than any other, Bush v. Gore.  Same outcome: perpetuating right wing minoritarian rule. But in any case, they will not allow the election process to proceed with some states disqualifying Trump and some not; that in itself would be a Constitutional crisis. The amendment is pretty obviously intended to operate, with respect to Federal elections, at the level of the United States as a whole, not with each state making its own determination of whether or not the provision applies. 

One aspect of all this Con Law stuff that I don't really understand is whether the SC will be in any way bound by, or at least have to give lots of deference to, the facts found by the trial judge, which the Colorado Supreme Court accepted as governing the "law of the case." I suspect that the US SC justices will not find it too hard to find justification for overruling the facts as well as the legal rulings of the lower court. 

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