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Supreme Court rulings could expand Trump ballot bans

By Jake Beardslee · January 2, 2024

In brief…

  • Colorado and Maine barred Trump from 2024 ballots over insurrectionist clause
  • Trump worried conservative Supreme Court may uphold those bans
  • Advisers see political advantage in drawing attention away from GOP rivals
  • Unclear how Supreme Court will interpret 14th Amendment clause first time since 1868
  • Rulings could determine if more states remove Trump from their ballots
The conservative Supreme Court Trump helped create may rule against him regarding state ballot bans under the 14th Amendment, which could have major 2024 implications, according to Maggie Habberman.  Andrew Lih/Wikimedia

Former President Donald Trump is worried that the conservative-majority Supreme Court, which he helped shape by appointing 3 justices, may rule against him on recent decisions by Colorado and Maine to remove him from their 2024 ballots, reports New York Times journalist Maggie Haberman.

Haberman said on CNN that “he and his advisors…believe that they will have success at the Supreme Court, but he has also voiced some concern that a court that has — he appointed three of the justices at the Supreme Court and gave the conservatives a supermajority — he is concerned that they are going to look as if they’re trying not to rule in his favor and might rule against him.”

Colorado and Maine barred Trump from their ballots last month, concluding he was ineligible under the Constitution’s 14th Amendment insurrectionist clause due to his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol attack. The decisions will likely be challenged by Trump and end up before the Supreme Court, whose interpretation of the clause could determine if other states follow suit.

While unclear how the Court will rule, some of Trump’s advisers think the decisions offer “political advantage,” said Haberman, as they take media attention away from his primary rivals in the final stretch and let Trump amplify criticisms from some Democrats of the ballot bans.