Over 175 Republican members of Congress, including U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA), have rallied behind former President Donald Trump in his Colorado legal battle.
The amicus brief, spearheaded by Senator Cruz and Majority Leader Scalise, represents a substantial faction of the Republican Congressional delegation. The move is not just a legal maneuver but a potent symbol of the influence and support Trump still holds within the GOP.
The brief argued that the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision encroaches on Congress’s express powers. The argument hinges on the interpretation of the 14th Amendment and the powers it vests in Congress.
BREAKING: U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, Majority Leader Steve Scalise, and 177 other Members Of Congress file Supreme Court Amicus Curiae Brief in support of Donald J. Trump in the Colorado Case seeking to remove him from the 2024 primary ballot pic.twitter.com/9xyW1sA1KB
— ALX 🇺🇸 (@alx) January 18, 2024
The legal document elaborates on the implications of de-balloting a candidate, stating, “De-Balloting a Candidate Effectively Denies Congress Its Power to Remove a Section 3 Disability.” The group argued, “The Colorado Supreme Court also erred by rejecting the argument that Section 3 is inapplicable to former President Trump, as he was never previously ‘an officer of the United States.’”
In December, the Democrat-controlled Colorado Supreme Court declared Trump constitutionally unfit to appear on Colorado’s 2024 presidential ballot. The judgment represented the first time a state supreme court had directly confronted and decided on the essential debates concerning Trump’s qualifications for future office.
Grounded in the insurrection clause of the U.S. Constitution, the court concluded that Trump was barred from the presidency under the clause. As a result, the Colorado secretary of state was instructed to remove Trump’s name from the state’s Republican presidential primary ballot.
The Colorado court based its argument on Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, asserting that former President Trump was disqualified from seeking the presidency due to his alleged engagement in the “insurrection” on January 6, 2021.
The section was originally intended to prevent former Confederate officials and military officers from returning to positions of power after the Civil War, but its provisions are still part of the Constitution and can theoretically be applied today.
The congressmen wrote, “Section 3 applies only to individuals who ‘previously’ took ‘an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any state legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any state, to support the Constitution of the United States.'”
“The only potentially relevant position here is ‘an officer of the United States,’ but for constitutional purposes, the President is never considered ‘an officer of the United States.’ Other provisions in the Constitution uniformly distinguish between officers of the United States and the President.”
“The Supreme Court of Colorado refused to adopt ‘a single, all-encompassing definition of the word ”insurrection,” they wrote. “The strategic decision to avoid defining the core inquiry was a serious mistake. ‘[C]ourts ‘must fully understand the historical scope’ of a constitutional provision before they can determine whether and to what extent the challenged’ action falls within that provision.”
The group also warned of the potential for widespread de-balloting of political opponents for future implications.