The justices are expected to hear the case, Trump v. Anderson, No. 23-719, on Feb. 8, less than a month before Super Tuesday, when many states, including Colorado, hold their primaries.
The central issue in the case is the meaning of a clause in Section 3 of the 14th Amendment of the Constitution that was added in the wake of the Civil War. That language prohibits from holding office those “who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any state legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any state, to support the Constitution of the United States,” have “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”
That prohibition can be lifted by a two-thirds vote in each chamber of Congress.
In their brief, the Colorado voters asserted that Mr. Trump, in his legal filing, had not fully wrestled with the core issue in the case: whether he engaged in insurrection.
In his brief, Mr. Trump focused on whether Section 3 applied to him, arguing that it did not because the clause did not explicitly include the president as among the officials. “The president is not an ‘officer of the United States’ as that term is used in the Constitution,” Mr. Trump’s brief said.
Lawyers for the Colorado voters pushed back against that interpretation.
“Section 3 does not give a free pass to insurrectionist presidents,” their brief said. “They are ‘officers’ because they hold an ‘office.’”