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Saving democracy: Supreme Court decision on Trump will determine the future of the country

The Colorado court decided to remove Trump from the ballot, and now the U.S. Supreme Court will rule on the matter.

Donald Trump


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In a remarkably swift decision, the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) announced that it would hear former President Donald Trump's appeal of the Colorado Supreme Court's decision to remove his name from the presidential ballot in that state. The U.S. Supreme Court's decision on this issue has national implications and could prevent or trigger terrible political chaos that would change the country's projectory.

A decision with national implications

The judges of SCOTUS understand the seriousness and far-reaching impact of this matter, which is why they have decided to hear the appeal and set a date for oral argument on February 8. Typically, the date to begin hearing a case is set six months or more after the case is accepted. But the judges are clear that Americans' right to elect their president is at stake. In other words, democracy is at stake. That is why the Supreme Court decided to hear the appeal and established such an early date.

This case is so important because it goes far beyond the opinion that each judge has about whether or not former President Trump was involved in an "insurrection," but it is about the position that the Supreme Court of the United States is going to take on a state court decision that affects the right to vote. Therefore, although most, or all, of the Supreme Court justices surely prefer to avoid these political debates, when the Colorado court decided to exclude Trump from the presidential ticket for allegedly having participated in an "insurrection," it was absolutely necessary for the Supreme Court to take the case.

The issue, furthermore, has implications not only for Colorado but also for the nation. If the Supreme Court upholds the Colorado Court's decision, we will most likely see court orders in each state asking Trump to be removed from the ballot.

So far, two decisions have been made in the country about removing Trump from the ballot: in Colorado and Maine. Colorado's was a decision of the state Supreme Court, and a decision made by a state Supreme Court can be appealed to the United States Supreme Court. Meanwhile, in Maine, it was a decision of the Secretary of State. Therefore, the process in Maine will advance to the state court and cannot be appealed directly to the United States Supreme Court.

So now the Supreme Court has the first opportunity, and the only one for now, to express its opinion on the wave of lawsuits trying to eliminate Trump from the ballot for the presidential primaries in different states. That opportunity was quickly taken by a Court that understands the seriousness of the matter.

The Supreme Court will most likely reverse the Colorado court's decision

The Colorado court – one of the most liberal in the country – determined that Trump engaged in an insurrection and, therefore, should be removed from that state's ballot. The decision was made based on Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment, a clause drafted just after the Civil War to prevent former Confederates from serving in Congress.

The Supreme Court will most likely reverse the Colorado court's decision. Not because all the judges agree that what happened on January 6 was not an insurrection, but because the judges surely will not want to make a decision that hinders democracy and strips Americans of their right to choose. In addition, SCOTUS always takes care not to become and not be seen as a political body.

So, the decision regarding the Colorado ruling will not be the consequence of a debate about January 6, but rather about whether there is indeed a reason to take away Americans' right to vote for whoever they choose. It is even likely that the Court will explicitly say that its decisions were not to determine whether or not there was an insurrection.

The idea that may unite all the judges, which will surely be the pillar of the decision that is finally made, is how it should be determined whether former President Trump participated in an insurrection. In that sense, it is highly probable that the Court will affirm that such a determination cannot be made and, therefore, he shouldn't be removed from the presidential ballot without having evidence and a legal process.

So we will probably see most, perhaps all, of the justices agreeing that to remove Trump from the ballot for allegedly engaging in an insurrection, it would be necessary to have a clear understanding of the facts; he must first be charged and convicted of insurrection, and given that so far no formal charges of insurrection have been filed against him, the Colorado court's decision should be reversed.

Therefore, it is essential to remember that although Trump currently has multiple accusations in different states, many of them made by openly partisan prosecutors, not even Jack Smith, who is widely supported by the most liberal sectors and who has great power in Washington, has dared to accuse the former president of insurrection. He didn't do it because he cannot prove that Trump is guilty of an insurrection. Indeed, it was absolutely clear to Smith that he has no way to prove that legally.

Although it is very easy for journalists, commentators, and Democratic politicians to shout over and over again that Trump is guilty, "insurrection" is a legal term. As such, it has a clearly established definition, and not even prosecutor Smith believes it is possible to prove that Trump participated in or encouraged an insurrection.

That's why we're sure to see the Supreme Court reversing the Colorado court's decision, and it's likely to be a unanimous decision. All judges are interested in making it clear to the country that they are not a politicized body and will protect Americans' right to vote. That is a precise and clear idea that all the judges of the Court can agree on, even if they have different opinions about what happened on January 6.