Center for Political Awareness

Does Justice Brett Kavanaugh Think Trump Can Be Prosecuted?

The Supreme Court seems unlikely to remove the ex-president from the ballot in a case brought by Colorado voters. But Kavanaugh might have tipped his hand on the criminal charges against Trump. (Click image for article.)

Photo: Mother Jones; Olivier Douliery/ABACA/Sipa/AP; Unsplash.

The Supreme Court on Thursday heard oral arguments in a case brought by voters in Colorado seeking to bounce former President Donald Trump from the state ballot on the grounds that he engaged in insurrection. The justices—including most of the court’s liberals—seemed generally hostile to Colorado voters’ arguments and largely unwilling to permit the Colorado Supreme Court to deprive Americans the chance to elect the candidate of their choosing. However, one justice did provide a tantalizing hint as to how the court might rule in another Trump case that is likely to come before it in the coming weeks.

During the oral arguments over the Colorado ballot issue—which focused specifically on the application of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which generally bars insurrectionists from returning to public office—Justice Brett Kavanaugh suggested that there was another, less complicated way to keep someone with Trump’s record off the ballot. “If the concern you have is that insurrectionists should not be able to hold federal office,” Kavanaugh said, “there is a tool to ensure that that does not happen, namely, federal prosecution of insurrectionists. And if convicted, Congress made clear you are automatically barred from holding a federal office.”

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