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Trump Awaits Pivotal Supreme Court Decision

Former President Donald Trump celebrates his titanic victory over Governor Ron DeSantis and Former Ambassador Nikki Haley in the Iowa Caucus. Trump has solidified himself as the odds-on favorite for the Republican side, however an upcoming insurrection decision by the Supreme Court may put things on hold for the frontrunner.
(Photo by Andrew Harnik, AP Photo via wdet)
Former President Donald Trump celebrates his titanic victory over Governor Ron DeSantis and Former Ambassador Nikki Haley in the Iowa Caucus. Trump has solidified himself as the odds-on favorite for the Republican side, however an upcoming insurrection decision by the Supreme Court may put things on hold for the frontrunner.

Former President Donald Trump awaits a Supreme Court decision declaring if he can be kept off 2024 presidential ballots. The resolution could prove critical in the upcoming election. 

As of January 2024, Trump has established himself as the early favorite to win the Republican Primary. According to Carl Cavalli, a political science and international affairs professor at the University of North Georgia, the former president was projected to win 50% of the vote in the pre-Iowa polls while competitors Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis were each predicted to score 20%. 

In the Jan. 16 Iowa Caucus, Trump did exactly what experts thought he would do. With 99% of the votes counted, he led with an overwhelming 51% of the vote with DeSantis getting 21% and Haley getting 19%. DeSantis shut his campaign down as a result on Sunday Jan. 21. 

With this and his recent victory in the New Hampshire primary in mind, it appears that Trump has the inside track to winning his party. There is, however, one potential speed bump in the way of this fast-moving bus. 

On Tuesday Dec. 19, the Colorado State Supreme Court made an unprecedented ruling declaring the former president unqualified to run for re-election. The court cited the 14th amendment’s bar on insurrectionists holding a seat in office and its relation to the former “The Apprentice” stars role in the Jan. 6 capital storming of 2021. 

Around noon that day, the president in the waning days of his term spoke to followers at a “Save America Rally” in the Ellipsis discussing his belief of foul play in the 2020 election. Although he initially mentioned protesters “peacefully and patriotically” making their voices heard, his speech ended in a vastly different tone. 

Trump’s final words included the phrase “We fight. We fight like hell and if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore. So, let’s walk down Pennsylvania Avenue.”

Even though the former president denied sparking the fire fueling the Capitol riots, his heated language from that day leads experts to believe otherwise. 

Section 3 of the 14th amendment states that no person who has taken part in or aided in insurrection against the U.S. Constitution shall be allowed to hold office from the state level to the Oval Office.  

According to Diane McEwan, lecturer in UNG’s department of history, anthropology and philosophy, the amendment was written shortly after the Civil War with Section 3 meant to keep former Confederates from serving in a political office. In the case of Jan. 6, it’s the first time it’s been called into question since its passing. 

With states such as Colorado, Maine and Illinois calling the former president’s eligibility for office into question. The Supreme Court is set to hear arguments on Feb. 8. In view of his hot start in the polls, the ruling could have crucial ramifications for the 2024 Election. 

On one hand, if the courts do rule in favor of Trump, the challenge will only act as coal in the “Trump Train’s” firebox. 

Cavalli stated that the Republican frontrunner’s campaign is heavily based on grievance and persecution. “Win or lose, he can use this to bolster his campaign,” he said. 

“Much of his campaign literature and rhetoric is about how ‘they’ are hurting ‘you’ by trying to stop him.” – UNG Professor Carl Cavalli 

Cavalli said that despite the court’s composition which includes three Trump appointees, some of the judges that have ruled against him in the past could pose a problem for the political figurehead. 

If Trump loses the ruling Haley would run uncontested for the Republican ticket, and despite currently trailing her counterpart, she has the better odds against Biden.  

In a Jan. 19 Marist poll from New Hampshire, the former United Nations ambassador held a 3-point lead over the standing president, earning 47% of the vote while Biden only held 44%. This performance was better than Trump’s, who trailed Biden 45% to 52%. 

According to data from the Marquette Law School, one of the driving forces behind this momentum is Haley’s appeal to middle ground voters who have negative views of Trump as well as voters who disapprove of Biden’s first year performance. Simply put, these voters see her as a strong third option.  

Even so, if former president Trump is removed from ballots, it doesn’t mean he will simply go away. On Thursday Jan. 18, the candidate’s lawyers made a statement demanding that the courts end efforts to kick him off the ballot threatening that it will “unleash chaos and bedlam” if he is taken off. 

As for the former president’s cause, an electoral barring will only prove his arguments of victimization right in the eyes of his followers. McEwan believes that the Supreme Court will rule in favor of Trump simply to avoid any turmoil and let the voters make their choice.  

To tie the knot together, if Trump wins the case, it will only boost his movement. If he doesn’t, he’s out to the dismay of many. However things play out, this decision will be a historic and important one. 

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About the Contributor
Jack Thurmond
Jack Thurmond, Staff Writer
Hello there! My name is Jack Thurmond. This is my third year at the University of North Georgia, and I am studying communications to become a sports journalist. I joined the Vanguard because it gives me the window to experience things I typically would not get to.
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    Wesley FFeb 8, 2024 at 10:07 am

    This is why we have the 14th amendment, for confederates like Trump! Promising to pardon people who were found guilty of sedition is, “or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof”.
    Great article!