USA: Participation in US primary election: Trump appeals to the Supreme Court

Former US President Donald Trump wants to take the legal dispute over his participation in the upcoming primaries to the Supreme Court of the United States.

USA: Participation in US primary election: Trump appeals to the Supreme Court

Former US President Donald Trump wants to take the legal dispute over his participation in the upcoming primaries to the Supreme Court of the United States.

He turned to the Supreme Court in Washington to enforce his participation in the presidential primary in the state of Colorado, his campaign team announced. With this step, Trump wants to overturn a decision by the highest court in Colorado, according to which he was disqualified from the primary election in the state because of his role in the storming of the Capitol in 2021.

The top election supervisor in the state of Maine also made a similar decision. Trump has already lodged an objection against this, but initially in a lower court. It was expected that the sensitive political issue would ultimately end up before the US Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court could theoretically dismiss the question. However, legal experts expect the court to take up the matter in order to avoid legal chaos in an election year.

What it's about

The background to the dispute is the unprecedented attack on the US parliament building almost exactly three years ago: Trump supporters violently stormed the Capitol in Washington on January 6, 2021. Congress met there to formally confirm Democrat Joe Biden's victory in the 2020 presidential election.

Trump had previously incited his supporters during a speech with unsubstantiated claims that the election victory had been stolen from him through massive fraud. As a result of the riots, five people died. Trump faces charges of attempted election fraud for his actions surrounding the vote.

Based on these events, various plaintiffs in various US states have been trying for some time to have Trump's name removed from ballot papers for the presidential primaries. Specifically, it is about the so-called ban on insurrection in the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. It states that no one may hold a higher office in the state who has previously participated as a public official in an insurrection against the state. Although some examples of such higher offices are given in the passage, the office of president is not explicitly mentioned.

Request from Trump's lawyers

Anyone who wants to run as a presidential candidate for the Republicans or Democrats in the USA must first prevail in the party's internal primaries. In states like Michigan and Minnesota, plaintiffs failed in their attempts to remove Trump from the primary race. Decisions are still pending in other states. However, decisions against Trump were made in Maine and Colorado.

In Colorado, the Supreme Court ruled in December that the Republican was unsuitable for the office of president because of his role in the storming of the Capitol and therefore could not take part in the primary election.

According to US media, Trump's lawyers' application to the Supreme Court now argues that the Colorado Supreme Court has exceeded its authority - the question of a president's suitability is a matter for the US Congress and not for state courts. The constitutional amendment, according to which people who have incited an “insurrection” against the constitution are excluded from elections, is also not applicable in the case of Trump.

Trump's lawyers had already filed a formal objection to the decision in Maine on Tuesday - but initially before a court in the state. The two decisions in Colorado and Maine had been suspended pending Trump's appeal. The decisions initially have no consequences as long as the appeal procedure is ongoing and there is no final clarification.

Why is it urgent?

Time is running out. The Republican primary begins on January 15th with the first vote in the state of Iowa. The Republican primaries in Colorado and Maine are scheduled for March 5, the so-called Super Tuesday, when voting will take place in a number of US states. However, the ballot papers are printed some time in advance.

Trump wants to run for the Republicans again in the presidential election in November, and in polls he is so far ahead of the field of Republican candidates by a large margin. For the Democrats, Biden wants to run for a second term. He has no serious internal competition.

In addition to the legal dispute over his participation in the primaries, Trump also faces several major court proceedings in the coming months on various criminal charges - including the storming of the Capitol and his attempts to retroactively overturn the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.

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