Trump Stays On Ballot, But Here Are The 5 Legal Bombs Ready To Explode Ahead Of Election Day

by Jessica

Former President Donald Trump secured a significant legal victory on Monday, March 4, 2024, as the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled in his favor, affirming that states cannot bar federal candidates from the ballot based on the 14th Amendment’s insurrection clause.

While Trump’s immediate challenge to his candidacy has been thwarted, the decision has far-reaching implications for future elections and Trump’s ongoing legal battles, as reported by AP on Monday, March 4, 2024.

Here are the key takeaways from Trump’s Supreme Court victory and the legal challenges looming over his campaign:

1. Technical Victory with Broader Consequences:

The court’s move on Monday, March 4, 2024, was overturning a December ruling by the Colorado Supreme Court, which deemed Trump ineligible for the presidency due to his violation of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, known as the insurrection clause.

This decision not only halts attempts to remove him from the ballot in states like Illinois and Maine but also prevents a potential cascade of litigation that could have rendered Trump disqualified in numerous other states.

By sidestepping the politically charged issue of Trump’s involvement in the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, the ruling avoids delving into the contentious debate surrounding his role in the events of that day.

Notably, the ruling refrains from any explicit references to January 6 or insurrection and abstains from addressing whether Trump’s actions qualify as incitement.

Instead, the focus remains on a technical and procedural inquiry into the authority responsible for adjudicating election challenges under Section 3.

While all nine justices concur that Congress holds jurisdiction over this matter, a narrower majority of five stipulates that such determinations must be made through legislative means.

This division within the unanimous majority underscores significant internal rifts and underscores the primary source of uncertainty stemming from the ruling.

2. Potential Constitutional Showdown:

The recent case raised the specter of unelected judges potentially disqualifying a frontrunner who has already garnered substantial support in the nomination process.

However, another concerning scenario looms: if Congress holds sole authority to determine a presidential candidate’s disqualification for involvement in an insurrection, it could make that determination on January 6, 2025, during the certification of a potential Trump victory in the presidential election.

While the Supreme Court rejected the former possibility, it may have inadvertently left the door ajar for the latter.

The majority opinion, comprising all five conservative justices, asserted that Congress can enforce Section 3 through legislation, albeit subject to judicial review, implying the court retains final authority.

This stance elicited dissent from the court’s liberal bloc, lamenting the perceived closure of alternative avenues for federal enforcement.

While one interpretation suggests this could involve rejecting Trump’s electors in the event of an election victory, legal experts caution against definitive conclusions. The clarity of this matter may only emerge if Congress opts to pursue such action.

3. Electoral Uncertainty and Legal Peril:

Despite his legal victory, Trump faces ongoing legal challenges, including four separate criminal trials.

The timing of these trials, along with the potential impact of the Supreme Court’s rulings on his immunity claims, could influence the outcome of the presidential election.

Trump’s legal troubles extend beyond the ballot, with looming trials in New York, Atlanta, and Florida for various alleged offenses.

4. State-Level Actions and Accountability:

While the Supreme Court’s ruling limits the use of Section 3 against federal officials, it leaves open the possibility for states to take action against their own officials.

Recent cases, such as the removal of a New Mexico county commissioner involved in the January 6 attack, highlight the potential for state-level accountability in the post-January 6 era.

The organization behind the lawsuit, Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington, subsequently pursued legal action against Trump in Colorado.

They expressed their eagerness to pursue additional cases under Section 3 against individuals involved in the events of Jan. 6.

5. Trump’s Legal Battles Continue:

While many doubted the Supreme Court would bar Trump from the ballot, his legal challenges remain perilous.

His first criminal trial, centered on allegations of falsifying business records to silence an adult film actress during his 2016 presidential bid, is set to commence in New York later this month.

Additionally, Trump is contesting a New York judge’s ruling demanding a $355 million payment for fraudulent activities conducted by his businesses, along with an $83 million verdict in favor of a writer he allegedly defamed after she accused him of sexual assault.

Depending on the high court’s handling and pace of Trump’s immunity plea, he could still confront charges related to his attempts to overturn the 2020 election in Washington, D.C., prior to this November’s election.

Two impending cases loom on the horizon: one in Atlanta, where Trump faces state charges linked to his alleged election interference in 2020, and another in Florida, where a trial on the improper retention of classified documents after his presidency is tentatively scheduled for May, though likely to be postponed.

While Monday’s legal victory was crucial for Trump’s campaign continuity, the journey through the courts is far from over.

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