Landmark ruling in Colorado

Mount Holyoke College President Danielle R. Holley spoke to MSNBC about the unprecedented ruling by the state Supreme Court of Colorado disqualifying former President Donald Trump from the state ballot.

On December 19, 2023, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that former President Donald Trump is disqualified from holding the presidency under Section 3 of the Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment and ordered the secretary of state to exclude him from the state’s Republican presidential primary ballot. Trump’s attorneys have promised to appeal the disqualification immediately to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Mount Holyoke College President Danielle R. Holley, a leading scholar of the U.S. Supreme Court, was on “Deadline: White House” on MSNBC on December 20 to discuss the landmark ruling.

She said the main question before the U.S. Supreme Court will be, “Is this a political question, or is this something the courts can decide on a Constitutional basis?”

Some experts compare the upcoming case to the landmark Bush v. Gore decision in 2000. The case comes at a time when confidence in the Supreme Court is at a historic low.

Holley said, “Confidence was undermined in the Supreme Court after Bush v. Gore, and I think where we are now is that confidence in the Supreme Court is at one of the lowest levels we’ve ever seen, whether it’s from the Dobbs decision to the affirmative action decision this summer … [Supreme Court justices have] been viewed largely as highly political and [there are] also the ethics questions around the Supreme Court.”

This is one of many cases involving former President Trump that the Supreme Court will be adjudicating. Holley said that there would, naturally, be some interplay.

“I think it would be impossible for the justices not to think about these cases in total, even though they’re asking different legal questions,” she said. All of the cases are about “the separation of powers under the Constitution.”

Watch the full episode online.

Please note: at time of publication, watching the full episode requires the creation of a free NBC Universal account.

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