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‘Very Tough Questions’: Jonathan Turley Predicts What The Supreme Court Will Focus On In Trump Ballot Case

George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley predicted Sunday the Supreme Court would focus on whether a potential disqualification of former President Donald Trump would be “self-executing.”

The Supreme Court will hear Trump’s appeal of a Dec. 19 ruling by the Colorado Supreme Court disqualifying him from that state’s presidential primary ballot, citing Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, on Feb. 8. Democratic Secretary of State Shenna Bellows of Maine declared Trump ineligible to appear on the ballot Dec. 28, but the ruling was placed on hold by a state superior court judge. The Maine Supreme Court declined to issue a ruling in a Jan. 24 decision.

Turley noted that Chief Justice John Roberts would seek to secure a large majority in whatever ruling emerged after he lambasted Democratic Secretary of State Jana Griswold of Colorado for making “a silly argument.” Turley also said that it was up for debate whether Trump could be automatically disqualified under the 14th Amendment.


“There’s a big difference between an age requirement and this,” Turley told “Fox News Sunday” host Shannon Bream about the effort to disqualify Trump. “First of all, it depends on your ruling on a series of questions in order to even get Trump disqualified. It’s got to apply to a president, which has been contested; it has to be self-executed, allowing the state to act unilaterally; and then finally, this has to be an insurrection. I think that they lose that, those are very tough questions.

“I think the court is unlikely on the first question to rule on that,” Turley added. “It’s more likely to look at this ‘self-executing’ question. Because remember, Chief Justice Roberts feels the burden of being chief justice, he’s going to want to eke out as large a majority, if not unanimity, on this question. The second question probably offers the best chance for that.”

Special counsel Jack Smith secured a four-count indictment against Trump relating to his efforts to contest the results of the 2020 election in August on charges that included conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy against the right to vote and to have one’s vote counted and conspiracy to corruptly obstruct and impede the Jan. 6, 2021 certification of the electoral vote count. Smith did not charge Trump with insurrection.

Legal experts predict the Supreme Court will overturn the Colorado court’s ruling.

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