Posts tagged with "14th Amendment"

Police increase patrols around Colorado justices’ homes after Trump ruling

December 27, 2023

On Tuesday, December 26, the Denver Police Department said it is investigating reports of threats or harassment against the Colorado Supreme Court justices and has increased patrols around their residences, reports The Hill

AIn a statement, a spokesperson for the police department said it “is providing extra patrols around justice’s residences in Denver and will provide additional safety support if/as requested.”

The heightened security precautions come as the justices face mounting threats in the wake of their controversial ruling that rendered former President Donald Trump ineligible to appear on the state’s 2024 presidential primary ballot.

In the 4-3 decision, which cited the “insurrection clause” of the 14th Amendment, the court ruled Trump engaged in an insurrection through his activities leading up to and on January 6, 2021, when thousands of his supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol.

The Denver Police Department said in its statement it was “currently investigating incidents directed at Colorado Supreme Court justices and will continue working with our local, state and federal law enforcement partners to thoroughly investigate any reports of threats or harassment.”

“Due to the open investigations and safety and privacy considerations, we will not be providing details of these investigations,” the statement continued.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation said on Friday, December 22, that it also was investigating threats against the justices and was working with local law enforcement to pursue potential threats of violence.

“The FBI is aware of the situation and working with local law enforcement,” said Vikki Migoya, spokesperson for the FBI Denver Field Office, in a statement. “We will vigorously pursue investigations of any threat or use of violence committed by someone who uses extremist views to justify their actions regardless of motivation.”

Following the decision, social media platforms were flooded with “significant violent rhetoric” against the justices from Trump supporters, according to a report from nonpartisan research group Advance Democracy first obtained by NBC News. These online threats reportedly included multiple posts pledging to kill or maim the justices.

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to review the ruling, which the Trump campaign vowed to appeal swiftly.

Research contact: @thehill

Minnesota Supreme Court allows Trump on ballot for primary, delays decision on general election

November 10, 2023

Minnesota’s highest court ruled on Wednesday, November 8, that former President Donald Trump should be allowed to appear on the state’s presidential primary ballot next year—waving off for now an argument raised in an early test case that he had disqualified himself for a second term by attempting to overturn the 2020 election, reports USA Today.

The decision represents a partial victory for Trump—allowing him to stay on the ballot for the GOP primary. Minnesota may revisit the issue for the general election.

The court, in a four-page order, said the state’s primary election was an “internal party election” and that winning that contest doesn’t necessarily place the nominee on the state’s general election ballot. There is no state law that bars a political party from nominating a candidate who may be ineligible to hold office, the court wrote.

The court left open the possibility of revisiting the issue for the November general election.

The lawsuit, filed by a liberal group called Free Speech for People, is one of dozens pending across the nation that rely on a post-Civil War-era clause of the 14th Amendment to bar anyone who “engaged in insurrection” after taking an oath to uphold the Constitution from holding higher office again.

Steven Cheung, a spokesman for the Trump campaign, described the court’s order as “further validation” that the legal efforts to knock the former president off the ballot are “nothing more than strategic, un-constitutional attempts to interfere with the election by desperate Democrats who see the writing on the wall.”

The Minnesota suit has been seen as a test case for the issue more broadly. Given the number of similar challenges across the country, the issue may ultimately be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Ron Fein, legal director of Free Speech For People, said the group was disappointed by the decision.

“However, the Minnesota Supreme Court explicitly recognized that the question of Donald Trump’s disqualification for engaging in insurrection against the U.S. Constitution may be resolved at a later stage,” Fein said. “The decision isn’t binding on any court outside Minnesota and we continue our current and planned legal actions in other states to enforce Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment against Donald Trump.”

The plaintiffs argued that Trump’s efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss, leading to the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, mean he’s disqualified from the presidency in the same way he wouldn’t qualify if he was not a natural-born citizen, another constitutional prerequisite for the office.

The Minnesota Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case on November 2.

The clause at issue has only been used a handful of times since immediately after the Civil War. Trump’s lawyers had argued it was never meant to apply to the office of the president, which is not mentioned in the text. They also framed the legal effort as an attempt to take away from voters the right to choose a president.

Research contact: @USATODAY

Watchdog group sues to block Trump from Colorado ballot, citing 14th Amendment

September 8, 2023

A Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group filed a lawsuit on Wednesday, September 6, to block former President Donald Trump from the 2024 Republican primary ballot in Colorado, citing the 14th Amendment’s ban on insurrectionists holding public office, reports CNN.

In recent weeks, a growing number of liberal and conservative legal scholars have embraced the longshot legal strategy. The lawsuit, from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), is the first high-profile legal case attempting to use the 14th Amendment to derail Trump’s presidential campaign.

Trump has denied wrongdoing regarding the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol and said in a recent social media post that there is “no legal basis” to use the 14th Amendment to remove him from the ballot.

A post-Civil War provision of the 14th Amendment says any American official who takes an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution is disqualified from holding any future office if they “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” or if they have “given aid or comfort” to insurrectionists.

However, the Constitution does not spell out how to enforce this ban and it has only been applied twice since the late 1800s, when it was used extensively against former Confederates.

The lawsuit was filed by CREW on behalf of six Colorado voters, whom the group says are Independents or Republicans, including former U.S. Representative Claudine Schneider and former Colorado Senate Majority Leader Norma Anderson, both Republicans.

Noah Bookbinder, president of CREW, told CNN’s Abby Phillip on “NewsNight” on Wednesday that the group chose Colorado because of its “courageous plaintiffs,” early position in the primaries, and laws.

“For all of those reasons we thought it was a good first stop. It won’t be the last stop and we and others will bring other cases as well,” he said.

CREW was behind the most successful application of the so-called “disqualification clause.” A convicted January 6 rioter who was also an elected New Mexico county commissioner was removed from office last year on 14th Amendment grounds through a different but related legal mechanism that was initiated by CREW.

The nonprofit group on Wednesday sued Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold in state court and asked a judge to issue an order “declaring Trump disqualified under the Fourteenth Amendment” and barring Griswold “from taking any action that would allow him to access the ballot.”

“Because Trump swore an oath to ‘preserve, protect and defend’ the Constitution upon assuming the Office of the President on January 20, 2017—and then engaged in insurrection against the Constitution on and around January 6, 2021—he is disqualified under Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment from ‘hold[ing] any office … under the United States,’ including the Office of the President,” the lawsuit says.

Griswold, a Democrat, said in a statement that she believes Colorado state law is “unclear” on how to review constitutional requirements for “whether a candidate is eligible for office” and that the newly filed lawsuit will provide critical legal guidance.

“I look forward to the Colorado Court’s substantive resolution of the issues and am hopeful that this case will provide guidance to election officials on Trump’s eligibility as a candidate for office,” Griswold said.

The GOP primary in Colorado is on March 5, which is Super Tuesday. Trump’s federal criminal trial on charges stemming from his efforts to overturn the 2020 election is scheduled to begin March 4. He has pleaded not guilty.

Research contact: @CNN

Supreme Court deals death blow to affirmative action admissions by colleges nationwide

June 30, 2023

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled against Harvard and the University of North Carolina’s policies of considering race as a factor in college admissions on Thursday, June 29—a landmark decision that will upend affirmative action policies throughout the nation, reports The Daily Beast.

The decision is the latest to come from the court’s 6-3 conservative majority, with Chief Justice John Roberts writing that the court believes that the race-conscious admissions policies violate the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause.

“The student must be treated based on his or her experiences as an individual—not on the basis of race,” Roberts wrote. “Many universities have for too long done just the opposite.”

Colleges nationwide will now be barred from considering race in admissions—a blow that will require institutions to find new ways to maintain diversity.

The decision comes seven years after the court upheld an affirmative action program at the University of Texas. At the time, the court wrote that the promotion of diversity in education justified the consideration of race as a factor in admission decisions.

The ruling was rendered moot on Thursday, however, with Justice Sonia Sotomayor being the only remaining justice on the court from the 2016 ruling. Even then, the ruling in favor of affirmative action passed with a slim 4-3 majority.

Thursday’s ruling came after a group headed by Edward Blum, a conservative who’s long fought against affirmative action, filed a lawsuit claiming a group of Asian and white students were discriminated against at UNC. Blum claimed Black, Hispanic, and Native American applicants were given preferential treatment by admissions despite having inferior accolades.

Harvard was roped into a separate but concurrent case for allegedly discriminating against Asian Americans, with opponents claiming the university set subjective standards to limit the number of Asian students being admitted.

Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first Black woman to serve on the court, recused herself from the Harvard ruling—but in her dissent to the UNC ruling, she grilled her fellow justices for their decision, writing “our country has never been so colorblind.”

“With let-them-eat-cake obliviousness, today, the majority pulls the ripcord and announces ‘colorblindness for all’ by legal fiat,” she wrote. “But deeming race irrelevant in law does not make it so in life.”

In her dissent, Sotomayor blasted the court’s majority for concluding that “indifference to race is the only constitutionally permissible means” to achieve racial equality in admissions.

“That interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment is not only contrary to precedent and the entire teachings of our history… but it is also grounded in the illusion that racial inequality was a problem of a different generation,” she wrote. “Entrenched racial inequality remains a reality today … Ignoring race will not equalize a society that is racially unequal.”

Research contact: @thedailybeast

Trump says he’s looking ‘very seriously’ at ending birthright citizenship

August 23, 2019

The United States is the homeland of any baby born on its soil, according to the 14th Amendment of the Constitution, which reads, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”

But that did not stop President Donald Trump from saying on August 22 that his administration was “very seriously” considering an executive order that would end birthright citizenship, according to a report by The Hill.

“We’re looking at that very seriously,” Trump told a White House press gaggle before he left for a Kentucky rally. “Birthright citizenship, where you have a baby on our land—walk over the border, have a baby, congratulations, the baby’s now a U.S. citizen.”

“We are looking at birthright citizenship very seriously,” he added. “It’s, frankly, ridiculous.”

The president proposed ending the practice that grants citizenship to those born in the United States during his 2016 presidential campaign. He revived the idea last October, saying he would sign an executive order to enact the change.

It was always told to me that you needed a constitutional amendment. Guess what? You don’t,” Trump said at the time during an interview with Axios.

Numerous lawmakers, including several Republicans, quickly pushed back on the idea and argued Trump lacked the authority to make such a change using an executive order, The Hill reported at the time. They cited that birthright citizenship is a right enshrined under the 14th Amendment.

Trump responded to the criticism by saying birthright citizenship would be ended “one way or another,” The Hill reported.

The move is simply another tactic being used in Trump’s war on immigration. The Trump administration announced earlier Wednesday it would unveil a new rule that would allow migrant families to be held indefinitely, ending a procedure known as the Flores Settlement Agreement that requires unaccompanied minors to be held no longer than 20 days.

Research contact: @thehill