The US Supreme Court concluded hearing oral arguments early Thursday afternoon in former President Donald Trump’s appeal of a Colorado Supreme Court decision to remove the former president from the state’s primary election ballot in the upcoming 2024 presidential election cycle. The landmark case of Trump v. Anderson will determine whether states are entitled to remove current Republican frontrunner Trump from election ballots over his actions on January 6, 2021, when the US Capitol was stormed by protesters.
Arguments before the nine justices began a little after 10:00 AM EST and concluded around 12:20 PM EST.
The arguments centered around the application of Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment of the US Constitution—a section frequently referred to as the Insurrection Clause. The provision prohibits anyone from “hold[ing] any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath … engaged in insurrection or rebellion.”
The Colorado Supreme Court previously found that Section 3 applies to Trump because he engaged in insurrection following the 2020 election, culminating in the January 6 attacks on the US Capitol. That court also found that Section 3 applies to the presidency because it is an office of the US that includes an oath to protect the Constitution. Because the court found that Trump cannot hold office under Section 3, it barred Trump from appearing on the state’s 2024 Republican primary ballot. The court reasoned that, under the state’s Election Code, it would be a breach of duty for the Colorado Secretary of State to place Trump on the ballot because he is no longer a “qualified candidate.”
The oral arguments were originally scheduled to last 80 minutes in total. Trump’s legal counsel had 40 minutes for their oral argument, counsel defending Colorado’s decision had 30 minutes, and Colorado Solicitor General Shannon Stevenson received 10 minutes.
In comments following the hearing, Trump lauded the arguments and the justices’ lines of questioning and blamed election interference for his ballot disqualification.