Colorado Had a Bad Day at SCOTUS on Trump Ballot Disqualification

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by Ed Morrissey

Let’s preface this discussion by reminding ourselves that predicting a Supreme Court decision based on oral arguments is usually a fool’s errand. Justices often engage in Socratic-method questioning of the lead attorneys, challenging them to allow a better exposition of their arguments, and to cover gaps that may have appeared in the motions.

After spending my morning listening to the full two hours of argument, however, I do have one question. Will the decision to throw out Colorado’s disqualification of Donald Trump be unanimous, 8-1, or 7-2?

Because the Socratic Method only goes so far in describing what took place this morning. Even before the hearing ended, the Associated Press issued a Breaking News alert that made clear that all of the justices sounded “broadly skeptical” of Colorado’s arguments:

Jason Murray, the attorney defending Colorado’s use of the 14th Amendment to disqualify Trump as an insurrectionist, got into trouble almost immediately by avoiding pointed questions from the justices. That included Murray’s former boss Neil Gorsuch, who demanded that Murray address his question or concede that he had no answer:

The attorney representing those trying to disqualify Trump, Jason Murray, clerked for Justice Gorsuch when Gorsuch was a federal judge in Colorado. But he was squirming under Gorsuch’s questioning.

Under the plaintiffs’ theory, Gorsuch said, jumping off a hypothetical from Justice Alito, once a president commits insurrection, can’t any military official just refuse to obey his or her orders?

Murray kept suggesting other ways to ask the question and Gorsuch kept coming back to it. “Please don’t change the hypothetical,” Gorsuch said at one point, adding that he understood if Murray had no good answer, saying, “We’ll move on.”

That’s never a good sign, but justices Elena Kagan and Ketanji Brown Jackson at times sounded both skeptical and frustrated by Murray’s arguments. Being the newest member of the court, Jackson went last and immediately took up an argument from Brett Kavanaugh. Suppose the authors of the 14th Amendment meant it to apply to the presidency. Why didn’t they include it among the other offices specified in Section 3 without the qualifier of having held subordinate offices? Murray’s answer didn’t appear to impress Jackson, who expressed considerable skepticism that it should be inferred.

Kagan offered a broader argument for skepticism. By handing the power to individual states to make the DQ determination, Kagan argued, Colorado essentially would deprive voters in other states of the ability to impact the presidential election as they see fit. Later, Kagan (I believe) argued that issues such as these are national questions, and that the proper jurisdiction for national questions is the federal government — either courts or Congress, not state courts.

Another point from Murray seemed to get a broadly unpopular response. Murray tried to counter that argument and others about the proper foundation of a conclusion that Trump engaged in insurrection by suggesting that the Supreme Court could make itself into the trier of fact — in essence, a district court — and that didn’t please anyone.

The justices left an overall impression in this two-hour forum that they had no desire to allow that to happen, or to let states become triers of fact on 14th Amendment Section 3 disqualifications. That’s not just my impression either, but also Kyle Cheney’s at Politico:

The Supreme Court appeared to sharply veer against the Colorado voters challenging former President Donald Trump’s eligibility to run for office. …

The odds seemed stacked against the challengers even before the hearing began, with legal experts anticipating hostility from the justices that cut across partisan lines. Thursday’s questioning seemed to confirm that view.

Not only were conservative justices sharply critical, the court’s liberal justices also worried aloud about the impact of the ruling.

“My question is why the framers would have designed a system that would — could — result in interim disuniformity in this way?” Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson said.

Chief Justice John Roberts cut to the heart of the problem in his questioning. The 14th Amendment limits state’s rights, especially in the “insurrection” question after the Civil War. Its intent was to make that a question for Congress rather than the states so that former Confederate states could not send rebels back to Washington DC:

I made this point a while back, too. The clear intent of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments was to invoke federal authority over questions of slavery, citizenship, and discriminatory conduct and to supersede state power in all of these areas. It did the exact opposite of empowering states to determine eligibility for office and to settle matters of disqualification.

This brings me back to the first question. It seems clear that the court will throw out Colorado’s DQ. And for now, it looks as though that decision will be unanimous. It also seems clear that the court doesn’t want to rule on whether Trump committed an insurrection, an argument that none of them seemed eager to argue at all except to the extent of where and how it should be argued. I’d expect a 9-0 decision that precludes any more state-level DQs, and that’s all. And since I’m placing bets, I’ll put my meager cash down on Roberts writing the opinion, although I’m sure there will be parallel concurrences in part and/or in full.

Of course, don’t forget about my admonition about fools’ errands, either.

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On its face, the 14th amendment was never going to disqualify President Trump. The left seems to have put 11 of their dozen eggs in one basket. The last egg will break when the USSC rules on the Fischer case. That ruling likely to go the way of the January 6 prisoners (3) will cut jack smiths case in half rendering it pointless.
The justices made it clear removal would require a charge of insurrection, a prosecution, a guilty verdict and that verdict being upheld on appeal.
None of the above has happened with respect to the DC case.

Last edited 18 days ago by TrumpWon

Should they rule Trump remains on the Ballot the expansion of the Court again will be the rally cry of Democrats.

That punk-ass turd making the argument for Colorado explained their fall back position. Congress will simply refuse to confirm Trump’s election (if it is controlled by Democrats).

Jason Murray’s presentation before the Supreme Court was brilliant. Here’s and audio recording the of the oral presentation, should anyone doubt that. I’m guessing none of you even listened to the arguments.

The full written transcript is here.

Last edited 17 days ago by Greg

Jason Murray’s presentation before the Supreme Court was brilliant.

ROTFLMAO

Of course you’d have to listen to it to know that.

Last edited 17 days ago by Greg

Of course you’d have to listen to it to know that.

I did listen, Comrade Idiot.

I especially liked the part where Justice Gorsuch took his former law clerk to the woodshed.

It was Kagan. Kagan to Murray:

“Maybe put most boldly, I think that the question that you have to confront is why a single state should decide who gets to be president of the United States,” the justice said. “In other words, you know, this question of whether a former president is disqualified for insurrection to be president again is, you know, just say it, it sounds awfully national to me. So whatever means there are to enforce it would suggest that they have to be federal, national means.”

Toles is a total Imbecilic

We all know that most of the Journalists are all gutter level lowlife slimeballs its why most Americans don’t trust the Gutter Dwellers of the M.S. Media and bottom Feeders like Toles, Horsey Trudeau(Doonsbury) and McGruder(The Boondocks)why else is the publics trust in the M.S. Media are at all time low

You do realize Jason kept getting the law wrong, don’t you, greg?

He’d say (repeatedly) that it was illegal for anyone to RUN for office more than twice.

Tell that to Maryanne Williams (or whatever her name is, the lefty who runs every time.)

And talk about your “pre-crime convictions,” Jason also tried to convince the court that IF Trump got elected and IF dems controlled the House and Senate, then he’d be removed on “day one,” (as an “insurrectionist) altho that’s no grounds for preventing him from running now.

Here’s the full searchable transcript. A search of the text reveals that Murray made NO SUCH STATEMENT. So what’s your source? What’s the quote?

He’d say (repeatedly) that it was illegal for anyone to RUN for office more than twice.

Last edited 17 days ago by Greg

No quote? Nothing?

GO AWAY

Where’s the quote? What’s the source? Jason Murray said no such thing.

You do realize Jason kept getting the law wrong, don’t you, greg?

Jason was taken to the woodshed by Gorsuch and field dressed.

You think his presentation before the court was brilliant? He is on the precipice of a potentially 9-0 decision. In most judicial analysis post oral arguments, his performance was hardly brilliant. He was repeatedly slapped around by not just one of the justices, but at least 8 of them. sotomayor was MIA.

Justice Brown (D) smoked the Democrat lawyer, She knew exactly why the 14th Amendment was created and it did not include the president, good for her, she told the lawyer a detailed explanation of the 14th Amendment that set him in his place.

Last edited 17 days ago by TrumpWon

Brilliant presentation of a totally stupid and desperate concept. What do you want, a medal?

greg has zero credibility should he think this presentation was brilliant. By every post oral argument analysis, jason murrys presentation was a disaster. He is teetering on a potential 9-0 decision but more likely 8-1 and worst case 7-2. The 14th amendment crowd has just lost their in hail Mary attempt to prevent President Trump for being reelected.

Wow, that was a slap down of the attorney for Colorado. Embarrassing for him.

There was no slap down, fool. It wasn’t a pro wrestling event. It was a respectful exchange of opinions.

Well guess whos opinion doesnt really count, Mr. zero examples of his lame opinion.

This could be a 9-0 ruling

Colorado going down in flames

DOWN, DOWN,DOWN,DOWN,GRAVITY

To those Anti-Trump Pea-Brains bad news your parents have turned your safe spot in the Basement into a Combination Mans Cave and Sewing Room

Colorado’s lawyer stated that if SCOTUS didn’t support Colorado and the Dhimmies won the Senate and House they’d refuse to seat Trump if he won. Sounds like treason to me by failing to obey the will of the people.

But the Dems hate the Constitution and America.

Election denial, at the very least.

The premise, the intent, the desperation, the stretch is so ridiculous and clearly WRONG that I think the SCOTUS is pissed the left is wasting their time with it. It’s like they were responding with, “What are you, f**king stupid? How do you ban someone for being an insurrectionist when he hasn’t been convicted or even accused of insurrection and, most importantly, there never was an insurrection?”

I think the SCOTUS is going to cut Trump’s tiny little balls off and give them to Jack Smith in a glass jar.

Remember that time you were right about something? Yeah… neither do I.

I told you Biden would kick Trump’s overly large posterior in 2020, and he did.

Like I said…

Will you accept the decision if it is decided against Colorado?
Like you accepted the Mueller report where Trump was fully exonerated?

I expect the ballot decision to go against Colorado. I expect the immunity decision to go against Trump.

I can accept the ballot decision, because the mechanism by which Section 3 is applied isn’t clearly enough defined. It needs to be.

A ruling that presidents are immune from prosecution no matter what they do while in office would have dire consequences. I’m sure you would agree the moment a Democratic president had such immunity.

Last edited 17 days ago by Greg

You had all of you hopes and dreams rested on the 14th amendment Hail Mary. You are a fraud just like biden. Do you support removal via 25th Amendment?

I was certainly hoping Trump’s removal by state authority would be upheld, but that was always a coin flip. Immunity is the big one. A president permanently immune from criminal prosecution for all official acts even after leaving office would literally mean—as Trump’s attorney reluctantly admitted to the appeals court—that a president could order his political opponents shot without legal consequences. The SCOTUS will not go there. My concern is that they may try to dodge the question.

Last edited 17 days ago by Greg

Who had more secure retention of classified documents? President Trump who under the Presidential Records Act legally had possession or biden who had no authority to keep classified documents of any kind?

Neither Biden nor Trump legally had possession of classified documents. Upon discovery, Trump tried to hide what he had, while Biden fully cooperated with a methodical search and removal. That’s why Trump has been indicted and Biden hasn’t.

Perhaps you are unfamiliar with the Presidential Records Act. Does the PRA authorize a senator or vp to take possession of classified documents? Cooperation is not a remedy for committing a felony.

For purposes of discussion let us agree the PRA does not give a senator or vp authorization to take a keep classified documents. Why then was biden in possession of voluminous quantities of classified documents from his time as senator and vp?

44 years in office results in a large accumulation of paperwork. Around 25-30 classified documents were found to be mixed in with Biden’s papers when a full inventory was conducted.

Trump had 197 classified documents—98 classified as Secret, 30 as Top Secret, and the remainder Confidential.

Last edited 17 days ago by Greg

44 years in office results in a large accumulation of paperwork. 

And Biden, as a Senator and Vice President, didn’t have the authority to possess classified documents. How did he get them out of the SCIF?

Trump had 197 classified documents—98 classified as Secret, 30 as Top Secret, and the remainder Confidential, after only 4 years in office.

Biden had 25-30 classified documents after 44 years.

Trump had ZERO classified documents because he declassified them. Robin Ware/Robert L. Peters/JRB Ware/Pedo Peter/idiot Biden STOLE classified documents and profited off of them.

Trump violated no laws, Robin Ware/Robert L. Peters/JRB Ware/Pedo Peter/idiot Biden is a lying, corrupt criminal.

This might be too difficult a concept for greg to comprehend. I get the feeling he is completely unaware of the text of the Presidential Records Act. It would appear joey was not to clear on it as well. Otherwise he would not have been illegally in possession of classified documents.

No, Greg is simply a Democrat and supports Democrats. Laws and rules don’t apply to Democrats, so in his mind, it’s OK for Robin Ware/Robert L. Peters/JRB Ware/Pedo Peter/idiot Biden to steal Top Secret documents and share them with Hunter, his ghost writer and the CCP but Trump can be prosecuted for merely running for President because… fascism.

Sure, he declassified them using his special telepathic powers. There was no need to inform anyone.

Trump had ZERO classified documents because he declassified them…

Obama’s rule. Don’t blame Trump. Obama has a warehouse full of documents. Where’s his indictment?

Last edited 16 days ago by Just Plain Bill

Perhaps you are unfamiliar with the Presidential Records Act. Does the PRA authorize a senator or vp to take possession of classified documents? Cooperation is not a remedy for committing a felony.

Under the PRA President Trump was authorized to have the documents. Why did biden have unauthorized classified documents? You still have not adequately answered the question. Are you not clear on the PRA?

For purposes of discussion let us agree the PRA does not give a senator or vp authorization to take a keep classified documents. Why then was biden in possession of voluminous quantities of classified documents from his time as senator and

Under the PRA President Trump was authorized to have the documents. Why did biden have unauthorized classified documents? You still have not adequately answered the question. Are you not clear on the PRA?

You can expect Greg to go radio silent on this now. If he responds, it will be about Trump raping Crazy Carroll or some other tangent.

‘This is a disaster for democrats.’
Kamala approval rating is 28 percent. No one likes her.
Democrats don’t have anyone to replace Biden.
Doctors call for mental competency test.

Democrats’ only hope is that their stupid supporters don’t vote for competency, they vote for a shiny object.

I’ll just point out that Trump is a vengeful lunatic who wants four more years with total and permanent immunity from prosecution for ANYTHING he does while in office, and that you’d have to be bat-shit crazy yourself to give him the car keys.

Last edited 17 days ago by Greg

The only way to possess classified documents viewed only in a scif is to steal them. Robin Ware/Robert L. Peters/JRB Ware/Pedo Peter/idiot Biden STOLE classified documents. Trump had ZERO classified documents, as he had declassified them.

Who can not forget when sandy burglar went to the NA and stuffed docs in his socks? You know, the ones about osama that were not favorable to Clinton.

Can we now say since biden committed a felony and it appears he will skate, that biden is above the law?

Trump let the FBI in to see his records. He cooperated fully with them. It was Robin Ware/Robert L. Peters/JRB Ware/Pedo Peter/idiot Biden that was hiding the documents from everyone but the Chinese and Hunter.

Trump’s not arguing immunity AFTER office. No wonder you work yourself up into such a frenzy; you even lie to yourself.

Trump wants total immunity for all official acts in office to continue even after leaving office. Did you listen to the exchange between Trump’s lawyer and the Appeal’s court judge? Have somebody explain it to you—not that I expect it will do any good.

The immunity won’t go against Trump because he doesn’t need it; he hasn’t committed any crimes. It will go against the nation. It will set a dangerous precedent that career criminals like Robin Ware/Robert L. Peters/JRB Ware/Pedo Peter/idiot Biden will rue the day it was ever set. Better think that through, scooter.

Presidents have had immunity since George Washington. It is not going to change now. greg is going to be real butt hurt when this one comes out.