Mar 4, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Top Democrat “working on” bill responding to Trump ballot ruling

Rep. Jamie Raskin, wearing a dark blue suit, white shirt and blue tie, speaks to reporters at a House office building.

Rep. Jamie Raskin. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images.

A leading House Democrat is preparing legislation in response to the Supreme Court's ruling on Monday that Colorado could not disqualify former President Trump from its state ballot, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: The ruling determined that only Congress can enforce language in the 14th Amendment barring anyone who "engaged in insurrection" from holding federal office.

  • "Congress will have to try and act," Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, told Axios.

What he's saying: Raskin, a former member of the Jan. 6 select committee, said he is already crafting the bill, telling Axios, "I'm working on it — today."

  • Raskin pointed to legislation he introduced with Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) in 2022 creating a pathway for the Justice Department to sue to keep candidates off the ballot under the 14th Amendment.
  • "We are going to revise it in light of the Supreme Court's decision," Raskin said.
  • Raskin suggested the bill would be paired with a resolution declaring Jan. 6 an "insurrection" and that those involved "engaged in insurrection."

Reality check: The bill will face almost certain stonewalling in the House, where even moderate, swing-district Republicans such as Rep. Mike Lawler (R-N.Y.) are cheering the Supreme Court's ruling.

  • "I don't have a lot of hope that Speaker [Mike] Johnson will allow us to bring enforcement legislation to the floor, but we have to try and do it," Raskin said.
  • The Democrat said he will beseech Republicans to join the bill, but acknowledged that most of the ones who might have – such as former Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger – are already out of Congress.

What's next: Raskin said the bill is "one on a huge list of priorities" he would have as Oversight Committee chair in a Democratic House majority.

  • "It's clearly something that we need to focus on," he said.
Go deeper