Updated Jan 5, 2024 - Politics & Policy

U.S. Supreme Court takes up Colorado ruling barring Trump from 2024 ballot

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a commit to caucus campaign event at the Whiskey River bar on December 02, 2023 in Ankeny, Iowa. Iowa Republicans will be the first to select their party's nominee for president when they go to caucus on January 15, 2024

Republican presidential candidate former President Trump at a campaign event in Ankeny, Iowa, earlier this month. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed on Friday to hear former President Trump's appeal against a decision by Colorado's highest court to remove the Republican presidential primary front-runner from the state's 2024 ballot.

Why it matters: The Colorado Supreme Court was the first to find that the 14th Amendment's insurrection clause applies to Trump in relation to his actions surrounding the Jan. 6 Capitol riot – one of roughly three dozen legal challenges across the U.S. seeking to remove him from the ballot.

Driving the news: The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the case on Feb. 8, per court filings.

  • That's the same day as Nevada's GOP presidential caucus.

Of note: Trump appointed three of the nine Supreme Court justices, though they have ruled against him in the past.

Catch up quick: Colorado's Supreme Court ruled earlier this month that Trump can't appear on the state's ballots in next year's presidential election.

  • The court stayed the ruling from taking effect until Jan. 4, "subject to further appellate proceedings."
  • Trump's campaign said in response that the former president's team will file an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

What they're saying: Trump campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung told Axios in an emailed statement Friday: "We are confident that the fair-minded Supreme Court will unanimously affirm the civil rights of President Trump, and the voting rights of all Americans in a ruling that will squash all of the remaining ballot challenge hoaxes once and for all."

  • Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold urged the high court Friday to prioritize the case and issue a ruling as soon as possible.
  • "Coloradans, and the American people, deserve clarity on whether someone who engaged in insurrection may run for the country's highest office," Griswold said in a statement.

Of note: The Colorado Republican Party urged the Supreme Court in a December petition to overturn the Colorado ruling and allow Trump's name to appear on the ballot, arguing that the Colorado Supreme Court's decision had "irreparably harmed" the Republican party.

  • Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), a member of Senate GOP leadership, recently introduced legislation aimed at punishing states that rule to disqualify Trump from the ballot, Axios' Andrew Solender reported.
  • The three-page bill would, among other things, clarify that the Supreme Court has "sole jurisdiction" to adjudicate such 14th Amendment cases.
  • In late December, the Michigan Supreme Court rejected a bid to remove Trump from the 2024 primary ballot, upholding a lower court ruling.

Go deeper: SCOTUS takes up Jan. 6 case that may affect Trump prosecution

Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional details throughout.

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