Supreme Court Poised to Rule on Monday on Trump’s Eligibility to Hold Office


The Supreme Court announced on Sunday that it would issue at least one decision on Monday, a strong signal that it would rule then on former President Donald J. Trump’s eligibility for Colorado’s primary ballot.

The timing of the session is unusual given that the court had not been scheduled to return to the bench until March 15. In urging the justices to intervene, the Colorado Republican Party had asked them to act before the looming primaries on Super Tuesday, which include Colorado.

The ruling is likely to resolve not only whether Mr. Trump may appear on the Colorado primary ballot but also whether he is eligible to run in the general election. Indeed, the decision will almost certainly apply to any other state where Mr. Trump’s eligibility to run has been challenged.

Not since Bush v. Gore, the 2000 decision that handed the presidency to George W. Bush, has the Supreme Court assumed such a direct role in a presidential contest.

The Colorado Supreme Court ruled in December that Mr. Trump is ineligible to seek or hold office under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which was adopted after the Civil War and prohibits people who swore to support the Constitution and then engaged in insurrection from holding office.

After Mr. Trump asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 3 to hear his appeal, the justices have moved with considerable speed to resolve the issue. They granted review just two days after the filing and scheduled arguments for about a month later.

Based on questioning at the oral argument, Mr. Trump is likely to prevail.

The court is also considering a second case concerning Mr. Trump, on whether he is immune from prosecution on charges that he plotted to overturn the results of the 2020 election. It has moved more slowly than the Colorado case.

The justices sat on Mr. Trump’s emergency application regarding immunity for 16 days and then scheduled arguments for seven weeks later, in the week of April 22. The court kept the trial, which had once been scheduled for March 4, on hold in the meantime.

If the court issues its decision in the Colorado case on Monday, it will have acted within a month of hearing arguments. If it follows that pace on the immunity case, a decision could land in late May. And if Mr. Trump loses, pretrial proceedings would resume and the trial itself might start, barring other hurdles, in late September.

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