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Trump Likely to Win Supreme Court Disqualification Case: Legal Experts

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Justices on the U.S. Supreme Court appear prepared to hand Donald Trump a win, allowing him to not only stay on the Colorado primary ballot, but to make a landmark ruling that the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution does not allow any state to remove a candidate from an election even if they have engaged in insurrection, according to several legal experts.

Legal experts also suggest the justices were not open to Colorado’s argument, and are likely to decide for the ex-president who is also facing 91 criminal felony charges, including some for his efforts in allegedly attempting to overturn the 2020 election he lost.

“This argument did not go well for the Trump challengers,” said former Acting U.S. Solicitor General Neal Katyal live on MSNBC.

“The SCOTUS oral argument- Colorado will lose, with the only issue being whether a single Justice will dissent. Tough and smart questions by the Justices including the 3 in the liberal wing,” writes Professor of law Andrew Weissmann, an MSNBC legal analyst who spent decades at DOJ.

“My bet,” says professor of law Steve Vladeck, “Between 7-2 and 9-0 for the very specific proposition that states can’t unilaterally disqualify candidates running for President on the ground that they engaged in insurrection. That’s just a prediction based on the oral argument—not what I think the Court *ought* to do.”

READ MORE: ‘Open Rebellion’: Mike Johnson, Mitch McConnell and Ronna McDaniel Under MAGA Fire

Professor of law Rick Hasan, a noted election law expert, says it “would not be surprising to see a quick 9-0 or 8-1 ruling reversing Colorado and keeping Trump on the ballot, with Roberts writing on the federal interest, and perhaps some concurrences (Kavanaugh on Griffin, Alito and Gorsuch on ‘holdin’ office). Sotomayor is the question mark.”

“In my view this argument is as good as over,” wrote Mark Joseph Stern, before oral arguments concluded. “A majority will hold that individual states can’t enforce Sec. 3 against the president, at least without congressional approval.”

As some observed, it took the Justices an hour to even address the issue of insurrection, which is central to the case. Others expired grave concern that Justice Clarence Thomas, who they say clearly has a deep conflict of interest given his spouse’s actions, chose to not recuse himself.

“SCOTUS justices across the aisle — including Kagan, Thomas, and Barrett — have questioned states’ ability to disqualify federal candidates under the 14th Amendment, Section 3,” notes veteran legal reporter Adam Klasfeld. He also says, “Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson expresses skepticism about the definition of ‘officer’ in the disqualification clause: ‘Why didn’t they put president in the very enumerated list of Section Three?'”

“That ‘troubles’ her, she says.”

Justice Brett Kavanaugh suggested that criminal prosecution of insurrection was required to enforce Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. He also asked about “the right of the people” to vote for the candidate of their choice, and appeared concerned about “disenfranchisement” of voters.

READ MORE: Top Catholic Priest Has Some Advice for ‘Moses’ Mike Johnson

The Associated Press observes it is “bad for the plaintiffs trying to disqualify Trump” that January 6 “isn’t coming up in this argument.”

The AP adds that “the questioning has almost all been about technical, procedural issues, which are many of the reasons that Trump and others say the high court just shouldn’t go there. The justices are plainly worried that they’ll open a Pandora’s Box if they uphold the Colorado ruling, allowing other states to disqualify people they dislike through whatever fact-finding procedures they see fit to use.”

The attorney arguing for Colorado, Jason Murray, “keeps trying to bring the discussion back to Trump’s conduct, but not even the Democratic-appointed justices seem to be biting.”

Politico is even more certain that the Supreme Court will side with Trump and deem him not ineligible to hold elected office.

“The Supreme Court appeared to sharply veer against the Colorado voters challenging former President Donald Trump’s eligibility to run for office,” Politico’s Kyle Cheney reports. “Justices on both the left and right raised pointed questions to Jason Murray…about the ‘extraordinary’ ramifications of letting individual states decide whether a candidate is an insurrectionist.”

He adds that the “justices seem hostile to [the] disqualification effort.”

“Chief Justice John Roberts said that would essentially empower individual states to exert unilateral control over federal elections, a position ‘at war’ with the notion that the Constitution’s 14th Amendment was intended to empower the federal government to constrain wayward states.”

Justice Elena Kagan also appeared opposed, asking: “Why should a single state have the ability to make this determination, not only for their own citizens, but for the rest of the nation?”

READ MORE: Doubts Swirl Around Speaker Johnson’s Abilities After ‘Embarrassing’ Losses: Report

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‘Handmaid’s Tale’: Biden Campaign Blasts Trump Christian Nationalism Plans

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The Biden campaign is responding to a report from Politico detailing how Christian nationalism is intentionally being injected into the plans a right-wing think tank, part of a “conservative consortium,” is drafting for a potential second Trump presidential term.

“Spearheading the effort is Russell Vought, who served as Trump’s director of the Office of Management and Budget during his first term and has remained close to him. Vought, who is frequently cited as a potential chief of staff in a second Trump White House, is president of The Center for Renewing America think tank, a leading group in a conservative consortium preparing for a second Trump term,” Politico reported Tuesday. “Vought has a close affiliation with Christian nationalist William Wolfe, a former Trump administration official who has advocated for overturning same-sex marriage, ending abortion and reducing access to contraceptives.”

“Vought,” Politico adds, “is advising Project 2025, a governing agenda that would usher in one of the most conservative executive branches in modern American history. The effort is made up of a constellation of conservative groups run by Trump allies who’ve constructed a detailed plan to dismantle or overhaul key agencies in a second term. Among other principles, the project’s ‘Mandate for Leadership’ states that ‘freedom is defined by God, not man.'”

READ MORE: Alito Fears ‘Bigot’ Label for Americans With ‘Traditional Religious Views’ of LGBTQ People

There are other far-right Christian nationalists in play.

“Trump is also talking about bringing his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, a vocal proponent of Christian nationalism, back into office,” the Politico piece notes. “Flynn is currently focused on recruiting what he calls an ‘Army of God’ — as he barnstorms the country promoting his vision of putting Christianity at the center of American life.”

In 2022 PBS NewHour described Flynn as being “‘at the center’ of [a] new movement based on conspiracies and Christian nationalism.”

“He has drawn together election deniers, mask and vaccine opponents, insurrectionists, Proud Boys, and elected officials and leaders in state and local Republican parties.”

READ MORE: McEnany Meltdown: Biden Beats Reagan, Trump Dead Last in New Scholars’ Survey

The Biden campaign’s senior spokesperson Lauren Hitt responded to the Politico report, saying in a statement, “This is straight out of the Handmaid’s Tale. Nationwide abortion bans, attacks on same-sex marriage, and restrictions on contraception – this is the horrifying reality being openly discussed by Team Trump and the likely architects of his second term agenda.”

“Every day Donald Trump openly supports an agenda of restricting Americans’ freedoms, dividing our country, and attacking our rights. That’s what he will do as president. It’s not who we are as Americans. Like they’ve done election after election,
Americans will reject Donald Trump and his out-of-touch extremism again this November.”

The Hill adds the Biden “campaign also pointed to a New York Times report that said Trump told advisers and allies that he favors a 16-week ban on abortion, a story that the Trump campaign pushed back on but didn’t contradict.”

USA TODAY’s White House correspondent Joey Garrison first reported Hitt’s statement.

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‘BS’: Top Dem Senator Goes on Offense Against Republicans

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U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) is calling “BS” on Senate Republicans – and calling them out by name – over their continued failure to pass the Senate’s massive border and military funding for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan bill that he helped craft.

Sen. Murphy’s first target: top Trump MAGA surrogate Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), who told Fox News, “The left want an open, insecure border. The conservatives and common sense independents, we want a secure America. That means you have to control your back door.”

Murphy did not hold back.

“Bullshit,” the Connecticut Democrat wrote on social media Tuesday. “We reached a bipartisan compromise to give the President enormous new powers to control the border. Almost every single Republican – including Sen. Scott – voted against it because Trump told them to keep the border a mess because it might help him politically.”

READ MORE: Alito Fears ‘Bigot’ Label for Americans With ‘Traditional Religious Views’ of LGBTQ People

Senator Murphy’s second target was U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI), who claimed, “The recent bill would have been worse than doing nothing by codifying [Biden’s] open border policies into law.”

“Bullshit,” Sen. Murphy again responded. “The bipartisan border bill that Sen. Johnson’s party asked for and then voted against because Trump said so would have

ALLOWED
THE
PRESIDENT
TO
SECURE
THE
BORDER.”

Next, the Connecticut Democrat called out U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn  (R-TN). writing, “also bullshit.”

Sen. Blackburn had claimed, “Even Secretary Mayorkas has said what’s happening at the southern border ‘certainly is a crisis.’ It’s past time the Biden administration put a stop to this madness. CLOSE the border.”

Sen. Murphy added, “Senator Blackburn knows the bill would have actually allowed the President to close parts of the border when crossings get too high. But who would book Republicans on cable news if the border was actually under control? That’s why they killed it.”

Watch the videos above or at this link.

RELATED: ‘We Aren’t Monsters’: Top Senate Dem Slams Josh Hawley for Not Wanting to Help Kids

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Alito Fears ‘Bigot’ Label for Americans With ‘Traditional Religious Views’ of LGBTQ People

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U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito is expressing concern that Americans who hold what he calls “traditional religious views” on homosexuality and refuse to hide them are being labeled as “bigots.” The Bush-appointed 73-year old jurist with a history of anti-LGBTQ opinions has been called the Court’s “staunchest opponent of LGBTQ rights.”

As The New Republic reports, “Alito is complaining that people who oppose homosexuality were being unfairly branded as bigots, despite that being a dictionary definition of bigotry.”

On Tuesday, agreeing the Court should not take a case, Alito wrote he is “concerned” that a lower court’s reasoning “may spread.”

He notes that the lower court “reasoned that a person who still holds traditional religious views on questions of sexual morality is presumptively unfit to serve on a jury in a case involving a party who is a lesbian.”

READ MORE: ‘Putin’s Puppet’: Critics Blast Trump for Comparing Navalny Death to His Own Legal Crisis

In that case, several jurors who acknowledged they held anti-LGBTQ views were released from serving on the trial.

“That holding exemplifies the danger that I anticipated in Obergefell v. Hodges … namely, that Americans who do not hide their adherence to traditional religious beliefs about homosexual conduct will be ‘labeled as bigots and treated as such’ by the government.'”

Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern writes, “Alito suggests that a trial court violates the free exercise and equal protection clauses when it allows an attorney who represents a gay client to strike potential jurors because they express overt bigotry against gay people.”

Veteran journalist John Harwood observes, “Justice Alito, even if he somehow gets Obergefell overturned, will be aggrieved forever more.”

He adds, “there will never be another time when his views about homosexuality will not be treated as bigotry by most people in our society.”

Attorney Max Kennerly posits, “If we followed Alito’s reasoning that religious beliefs can never serve as a basis to strike a juror, we’d instantly run into a collision with jurors who believe, on religious grounds, the death penalty is wrong. Any guesses how Alito would rule on that? Yeah, exactly.”

READ MORE: Fox News Liberal Explains Why Democrats Don’t Care About Charlamagne Tha God’s Biden Slam

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