The Supreme Court may as soon as this week take up a case about former President Donald Trump’s ability to again run for the White House, and decide within days if the current Republican frontrunner is eligible.
The high court is poised to hold a regularly scheduled conference day on Friday, giving the justices an opportunity to react to historic decisions in Colorado and Maine that Trump wasn’t eligible for ballots in those states. Both relate to conclusions Trump can’t be on the ballot due to a section of a constitutional amendment barring those who have “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” from serving in office. After the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives for inciting insurrection but was acquitted by the Senate.
“The pressure is on the Supreme Court to take the Trump case, perhaps this week,” wrote Greg Valliere, chief U.S. policy strategist at AGF Investments, in a note on Tuesday.
“Then a debate could take a few days; it took the court only three days to rule in favor of George W. Bush on Dec. 12, 2000,” Valliere said. The analyst gave odds of 70-30 that Trump will prevail if the Supreme Court takes the case. The court has a 6-3 conservative majority.
Potential action by the Supreme Court would come as the presidential primary season is kicking off, with Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucuses scheduled for Jan. 15. The former president is the overwhelming favorite in national GOP polls and polls of early-state Republicans. Trump and President Joe Biden are essentially tied in an average of polls compiled by RealClearPolitics.
Trump on Tuesday was expected to appeal the Colorado and Maine rulings. The ex-president would appeal the Colorado Supreme Court ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court and the decision by Maine’s Democratic secretary of state to that state’s Superior Court, as the Associated Press wrote.
It would mark the first time the nation’s highest court could rule on Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which says that anyone who swore an oath to support the Constitution and then “engaged in insurrection” against it is no longer eligible for office.
The Associated Press contributed.