Former President Donald Trump has received the green light to be on New York’s Republican presidential primary ballot, although a Democrat state senator is threatening to challenge the decision in court.
With speculation building for that high-stakes Supreme Court hearing, court watchers have expressed skepticism about whether the conservative-leaning court would block President Trump from running for office.
Republican NYSBOE Commissioner Anthony Casale said during the Feb. 6 eligibility meeting that “much” correspondence had been received asking the officials to block President Trump from the ballot. However, he and Peter Kosinski, the other GOP commissioner, said none of the requests qualified as an official objection, which requires an objector to take a series of specific steps after a candidate files for access.
‘I Will See Them in Court’
New York state Sen. Brad Hoylman-Sigal, along with New York City council members Shekar Krishnan and Gertrude Fitelson, all Democrats, filed what they said was an “objection” on Feb. 6, arguing that President Trump should be barred on grounds of the 14th Amendment’s “insurrectionist” disqualification clause.
Mr. Hoylman-Sigal said that if the NYSBOE decides to grant President Trump ballot access, he would file an appeal with the New York Supreme Court.
“As the Colorado State Supreme Court has already rightfully ruled, Donald Trump is disqualified from holding any elected office in the United States due to engaging in and inciting a violent insurrection in which he attempted to overturn the will of the American people while taking multiple lives,” Mr. Hoylman-Sigal said in a statement.
“Should the Board of Elections fail to do their duty and rule Trump ineligible, I will see them in court.”
New York holds its presidential primary on April 2.
He has described the various efforts to block him from the ballot based on 14th Amendment grounds as part of a ploy by his political rivals to undermine his bid for a White House comeback. He also labeled President Joe Biden as an “insurrectionist,” citing the president’s border policies as proof and accusing him of “destroying” America with his radical anti-fossil fuel policies.
In a show of support for the former president’s efforts to reject the “insurrection” claims, Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) unveiled a resolution on Feb. 6 that declares that President Trump “did not engage in insurrection or rebellion against the United States.”
What Will SCOTUS Do?
Legal experts have said that there are several ways the Supreme Court could reverse the Colorado decision without weighing into the substance of whether President Trump “engaged in insurrection” on Jan. 6, 2021.
One such way would be for the Supreme Court to say the U.S. president isn’t an “officer of the United States” but part of the executive branch and therefore rule that Section 3 of the 14th Amendment simply doesn’t apply.
The nation’s top court could also vacate the Colorado court’s decision and instruct it to revisit the case at a later date.
During the Feb. 8 hearing, President Trump’s attorneys will have 40 minutes to present oral arguments; the respondents will have 30 minutes.
Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold, who has labeled President Trump an “ineligible insurrectionist,” will have 10 minutes to make her case as to why she thinks he should be barred from the ballot.