The recent 4-3 decision by the Colorado Supreme Court to disqualify former President Donald Trump from the upcoming presidential ballot has stirred controversy and drawn criticism from constitutional expert Alan Dershowitz. This historic ruling marks Trump as the first presidential candidate deemed ineligible under a rarely used provision of the U.S. Constitution, which bars officials involved in “insurrection or rebellion” from holding office.
Dershowitz, a legal scholar with over 60 years of experience, expressed his strong opposition to the decision, calling it “absurd” during an appearance on “National Report.” He argued that the interpretation of the 14th Amendment as a substitute for the impeachment provision is misguided. The 14th Amendment specifies a process wherein Congress holds the power to ensure that a person cannot run for office, but Dershowitz emphasized that this was not intended to circumvent the carefully crafted impeachment provision.
Furthermore, Dershowitz pointed out that Trump has not been charged or convicted of participating in an insurrection, a term that lacks a legal definition. He asserted that the decision is an extreme stretch of the 14th Amendment and predicted that the U.S. Supreme Court, with its conservative majority, will likely rule against the Colorado decision.
“I think this case will be decided not along party lines in the Supreme Court,” Dershowitz stated. “This is such an extreme stretch of the 14th Amendment that he will get more votes than just the people he appointed to the Supreme Court or even the 5-4 conservative majority.”
Dershowitz highlighted that the text of the Constitution itself does not make the provision applicable to the president, as it specifically addresses senators, representatives, and electors. He clarified that the amendment’s original purpose was to prevent Civil War veterans from running for certain offices.
The legal battle over Trump’s eligibility for the presidential ballot is poised to continue, with Dershowitz confident in the likelihood of the U.S. Supreme Court overturning the Colorado decision.