Takeaways: Trump scores big win in …

The Supreme Court on Monday ruled that former President Donald Trump could not be removed from the ballot in Colorado or any other state – a sweeping and historic ruling that brushed aside a lawsuit claiming that he disqualified himself from office because of his actions on January 6, 2021.

The Supreme Court on Monday ruled that former President Donald Trump could not be removed from the ballot in Colorado or any other state – a sweeping and historic ruling that brushed aside a lawsuit claiming that he disqualified himself from office because of his actions on January 6, 2021.

But the justices did not say if Trump was in fact an insurrectionist and split on technicalities of how the ban could be enforced – a distinction with potentially broad consequences.

The opinion reversed a stunning decision last year from Colorado’s top court that found Trump engaged in an insurrection because of his remarks outside the White House before the 2021 attack on the US Capitol. Those actions, the state court ruled, violated Section 3 of the 14th Amendment and left Trump ineligible to appear on the state’s ballot.

Since then, both Maine and Illinois also moved to take Trump off the ballot. Monday’s Supreme Court decision appeared certain to shut down those and other efforts to remove the frontrunner for the GOP nomination from the ballot.

“States may disqualify persons holding or attempting to hold state office,” the court’s unsigned majority opinion read. “But states have no power under the Constitution to enforce Section 3 with respect to federal offices, especially the presidency.”

Here’s what to know about the opinion and what it means:
There was no equivocation in the Supreme Court’s short opinion: States do not have the power to remove a federal candidate – especially a president – from the ballot under the Constitution’s “insurrectionist ban.” It is Congress, the court wrote, that can enforce the provision, not states.

“The notion that the Constitution grants the states freer rein than Congress to decide how Section 3 should be enforced with respect to federal officer is simply implausible,” the court’s unsigned opinion read.

What that means is that the impact of the decision will sweep far wider than the controversy at issue in Colorado. It means that any state would be overstepping its power by trying to knock Trump off the ballot – a position that will almost certainly shut down similar “insurrectionist” lawsuits across the country.

In that sense, the court’s opinion was a significant victory for Trump, vanquishing a legal theory that has for months threatened his viability for a second term.

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