The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments this past week in a historic case that could decide whether Donald Trump is ineligible for the 2024 ballot under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment.
The dispute comes from Colorado, where a divided state Supreme Court declared Trump ineligible for the White House under the U.S. Constitution’s insurrection clause, removing him from the state’s presidential primary ballot.
The plaintiffs in the case — a group of Colorado voters — argue that Trump isn’t constitutionally qualified to run for president because he “engaged in insurrection or rebellion”on Jan. 6, 2021. Trump appealed the Colorado Supreme Court decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing that the case is one of overreach.
Though not as often applied in case law, the 14th amendment does prevent someone who participated in an insurrection from running for president. But, could removing Trump from the ballot in Colorado set a precedent that deprives voters of their choices, now and in the future? University of Michigan Law Professor Richard Primus joined Stephen Henderson on Created Equal on Tuesday to discuss the implications of the pending U.S. Supreme Court ruling.
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Richard Primus is a law professor at the University of Michigan and a senior editorial adviser of the Journal of American Constitutional History. He says the constitutional system is not built to handle the issues the era of Trump has given us.
“I often say to my students… the first rule of constitutional government is the same as the first rule of playground basketball. If you don’t respect your opponent and the spirit of the game, if you’re not willing to have fouls called on you and take your losses, the game will break down,” Primus said.
“…You have to be willing to back down from a fight sometimes, and say ‘I lost this round’ and move on.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Listen to Created Equal with host Stephen Henderson weekdays from 9-10 a.m. ET on 101.9 WDET and streaming on-demand.
Colorado bill would require licenses for funeral service professionals • Colorado Newsline
A bipartisan group of Colorado lawmakers wants to reinstate licensure requirements for people who work in the funeral industry, coming off a year with two high-profile funeral home mismanagement incidents in the state.
If passed, the bill would require a license to work as a funeral director, mortuary science practitioner, embalmer, cremationist or natural reductionist who converts human remains to soil.
Colorado is the only state that doesn’t require a professional license to work in the industry after the Legislature sunsetted the requirement in 1983.
“Establishing licensure of those who are entrusted with caring for our loved ones during a family’s time of grief and mourning will ensure that Coloradans can trust the businesses and people that they go to, and not have to worry about whether their loved one will be mistreated or their remains disrespected,” said Sen. Dylan Roberts, a Frisco Democrat.
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Roberts will run the bill in the Senate with Republican Sen. Bob Gardner of Colorado Springs. In the House, it will be sponsored by Republican Rep. Matt Soper of Delta and Democratic Rep. Brianna Titone of Arvada. The bill had not yet been formally introduced at the time of publication.
“It’s clear that Colorado needs additional regulation to rebuild the public trust and integrity of the death care industry,” said Patty Salazar, the director of the Department of Regulatory Agencies. “We all know the several egregious incidents that have been highlighted on a national scale, which demonstrates how the legislative and regulatory framework has failed Coloradans who have experienced loss and unfortunately sought funeral services from grossly incompetent funeral professionals.”
Last year, authorities found nearly 200 decaying, improperly stored bodies at a funeral home in Penrose that purported to offer natural burial services. Some customers believe they were given fake ashes instead of the cremated remains of their loved one.
In February, authorities found the cremated remains of at least 30 people and the corpse of a woman at the Denver house of a former funeral home owner who was being evicted.
“Colorado is the laughing stock of the industry because we don’t have licensing,” said Shelia Canfield-Jones, whose deceased daughter had been improperly stored at the Penrose funeral home for four years.
“This bill has the potential to bring accountability and to bring credibility to an industry that needs to be regulated. Self-regulation for the funeral industry does not work. They tried, and this is what happens,” she said.
The bill would require new funeral industry professionals to obtain a license beginning in 2026. To be eligible, a person would need to have a degree from an accredited institution, pass a national board exam, pass a criminal background check and complete a one-year apprenticeship.
Funeral professionals already working in the state would immediately be eligible for a provisional license if they pass a background check, have worked at least 6,500 hours in their field and completed an apprenticeship at some point in their career.
“This is one of the big issues — because we haven’t had any licensure for over 40 years, we have to do something for the people who have already been working here and might not have gone to school for it,” Joseph Walsh, the president of the Colorado Funeral Directors Association, told Colorado Newsline. He doesn’t want a new law regulating the industry to kick people out of their careers because of an educational requirement.
Walsh said CFDA has been working with Soper and Roberts for over a year on the legislation and is in “basic agreement with it.”
The requirements for a provisional license and the higher state involvement in general could act as a deterrent for bad actors, sponsors say, and push them out of the industry, while at the same time identifying the people who are doing good work.
A related bill from the same sponsors, House Bill 24-1335, would require regular inspections of funeral homes and crematories. It has its first committee hearing on March 7.
Tudor Dixon predicts Supreme Court will rule in Trump's favor in Colorado ballot case | Fox News Video
Supreme Court could rule on Trump ballot eligibility as soon as Monday
The justices will decide if states can use an anti-insurrectionist provision of the Constitution to kick Trump off the ballot.
Supreme Court case could remove Donald Trump from ballots
The Supreme Court heard a case brought by lawyers of former President Donald Trump that could remove him from ballots under the 14th Amendment.
WASHINGTON − The Supreme Court has indicated it will issue at least one opinion on Monday, raising speculation that it will decide on the eve of Super Tuesday if Colorado and other states can use an anti-insurrectionist provision of the Constitution to keep former President Donald Trump off the ballot.
Colorado and Maine, two of the three states where the validity of votes for Trump is waiting for a decision from the high court, are among the many states holding primaries Tuesday.
The court heard oral arguments Feb. 8 on Trump’s challenge to the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision that Trump is ineligible to return to the White House because of his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.
But until the court’s surprise scheduling update Sunday, the justices weren’t potentially scheduled to issue decisions in pending cases until March 15.
Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold told USA TODAY Friday she had been hoping for, and expecting, a decision two weeks ago.
“Because at the end of the day, it would be better for Coloradans and Americans to know where the Supreme Court is,” she said. “If we do not have a decision before we start announcing results on Tuesday night, votes for Trump will be counted.”
Waiting for a decision Colorado votes Tuesday. The Supreme Court hasn’t said if votes for Trump will count.
As in Colorado, moves in Maine and Illinois to remove Trump from the ballot have been on hold until the Supreme Court weighs in.
During the oral arguments last month, the justices appeared to be looking for a way to ensure stability in this year’s presidential election by blocking states from determining the eligibility of a national candidate.
“I think that the question that you have to confront is why a single state should decide who gets to be president of the United States,” Justice Elena Kagan, one of the court’s three liberal justices, told the attorney for the Colorado voters challenging Trump’s eligibility.
Other justices raised concerns about a mismatch of ballots across the country if each state makes its own decisions on whether Trump –or President Joe Biden – qualifies as an insurrectionist under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment.
That section was enacted after the Civil War to bar from office those who engaged in insurrection after previously promising to support the Constitution.
Trump’s lawyer told the court the Jan. 6 events were a riot, not an insurrection.
“The events were shameful, criminal, violent, all of those things, but it did not qualify as insurrection as that term is used in Section 3,” attorney Jonathan Mitchell said during oral arguments.
The Supreme Court has ways to decide this case without addressing whether Trump engaged in insurrection and the justices did not spend much time debating that question during oral arguments.
The justices are not scheduled to be in the courtroom Monday so will not read their decision from the bench as they typically do.
Trump’s ballot eligibility is just one of the issues the high court is deciding that will affect his future. The justices also agreed last week to decide if he can be criminally tried for trying to steal the 2020 election. And they are considering a challenge to how federal prosecutors are going after Jan. 6 participants in a case that could affect the federal charges against Trump.
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