Hundreds of top GOP lawmakers urge Supreme Court to keep Trump on the ballot

Nearly 200 congressional Republicans — including House Speaker Mike Johnson and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell — have signed onto a brief urging the US Supreme Court to keep former President Donald Trump on 2024 ballots.

The high court is poised to hold oral arguments on Feb. 8 in Trump’s challenge to the Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling that temporarily booted him from the state’s 2024 primary ballot, claiming that he had violated the Constitution’s so-called “Insurrection Clause.”

Some 179 of the 269 Republicans in Congress signed onto an amicus brief backing the ex-commander-in-chief.

“In polarized times, it is easy to cast an opponent’s rhetoric about the outcome of elections as encouraging others to obstruct the peaceful transfer of power,” the 37-page brief said.

The lawmakers also argued that the ruling “short-circuited” the role of Congress.

They said that the premise for jettisoning Trump from the ballot — Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment, also known as the Disqualification Clause — gives Congress a say in that decision.

“As members of Congress [we] have a strong interest in vindicating and protecting the role of Congress in the context of Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment,” the brief read.

They claimed that “enforcing Section 3 requires implementing legislation from Congress” and that Congress can mollify the ouster.

Donald Trump is battling efforts to boot him from 2024 ballots in key states as well as 91 criminal counts. MICHAEL REYNOLDS/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

“The Colorado Supreme Court short-circuited both of those congressional roles,” they wrote.

The Disqualification Clause says, “No person shall … hold any office … who, having previously taken an oath … to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”

However, Congress “may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability,” it adds.

Mitch McConnell signed onto the amicus brief despite his bitter history with Donald Trump. AP

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TY.) and House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) led the brief for their respective chambers in Congress.

McConnell (R-Ky.), who signed on, has even been one of Trump’s chief adversaries in the upper chamber.

Notable Republicans who declined to sign the brief include Sens. Susan Collins (R-Me.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Ala.), and Mitt Romney (R-Ut.).

The brief didn’t definitively say whether or not the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot was an insurrection but the document did cast some aspersions on that notion, pointing to Trump’s plea to rioters via video to “go home now.”

“It is hard to imagine an actual insurrectionist quickly asking for peace and encouraging disbandment,” the GOP signees argued.

The left-leaning Colorado Supreme Court ruled Donald Trump intelligible for the state’s primary ballot last month. via REUTERS

In a separate amicus brief, former Rep. Peter Meijer (R-Mich.), an outspoken Trump critic, argued in favor of enshrining Trump’s access to the ballot.

After the 4-3 Colorado decision last month, Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows, a Democrat, yanked Trump off the ballot citing similar logic.

Trump appealed that as well and a Maine judge on Wednesday remanded — or paused — that decision.

This means that for now, Trump will be allowed on both Colorado’s and Maine’s primary ballots for the March 5 Super Tuesday election in both states, pending the US Supreme Court’s decision.

Donald Trump scored a blowout victory in Iowa on Monday night. AP

Trump, the GOP frontrunner, has decried efforts to boot him off the ballot as election interference.

Efforts to fetter Trump from the ballots in New Hampshire, Oregon, Michigan, and Minnesota — have failed thus far.

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