Beige jacket, aviator sunglasses, Norma Anderson was there, at 91 years old. The name of this former Republican elected official will remain in American political history since the “Trump versus Anderson” affair.
Norma Anderson is the lead plaintiff in the suit that led the Colorado Supreme Court to ban Donald Trump’s name from appearing on the state’s primary ballots, finding that he had “intentionally organized and incited a violent mob to attack the United States Capitol in a desperate attempt to stop the electoral votes cast against him from being counted.” The former Republican president appealed to the United States Supreme Court, which began debating it Thursday in Washington.
A crowd opposed to Trump gathered in front of the institution, which had allowed only 50 people from the public, in addition to members of the Supreme Court bar and journalists, for this day of hearing where the lawyers of each party presented their arguments regarding this point: why the insurrection clause included in the 14th Amendment of the sacrosanct United States Constitution can or cannot be applied to Trump?
The nine judges obviously did not comment on the subject but their questions throughout the two-hour hearing showed how skeptical they were.
“There will only be a handful of states left to decide the presidential election”
Without discussing the merits – whether Trump incited his supporters to try to overturn the result of the lost 2020 election, a question which must be tried criminally next month in Washington – the judges, whether conservative or progressives, expressed their concern about the adoption by the States of radical measures likely to influence the presidential election next November.
Conservative Chief Justice John Roberts told John Murray, a lawyer representing Norma Anderson, the three other Republican electors and two unaffiliated electors behind the Colorado lawsuit against Trump, that a Legal confirmation of their position would lead states to disqualify the Republican favorite, and others to do the same against Joe Biden.
“There will only be a handful of states left to decide the presidential election. “It’s a pretty formidable consequence,” he warned, arguing that it was also contrary to the spirit of the 14th Amendment, written in 1868 after the American Civil War, the Civil War (1861- 1865), to prevent losing southern states, and then seceding states, from taking power.
“The question you face is why a single state should decide who can be president of the United States,” said liberal Justice Elena Kagan.
A worrying impact on democracy?
Conservative Judge Brett Kavanaugh, appointed by Trump, focused on the impact that could have on democracy if states could individually exclude candidates from their ballots. “Your position has the effect of disenfranchising voters to a large extent,” he told John Murray.
Who bluntly responded that “the reason we are here is because President Trump tried to disenfranchise 80 million Americans who voted against him, and the Constitution does not require that he be given a another chance.”
Donald Trump was not present at the hearing. His lawyers’ brief to the Supreme Court argues that “efforts to disqualify votes threaten to disenfranchise tens of millions of Americans and promise to unleash chaos if other courts and state officials follow suit.” “Colorado example”.
The six Colorado voters denounce this argument which they perceive as a threat of political violence, from a candidate who had no scruples on the matter. “We have already seen Trump lash out,” they wrote in a document released before the hearing.
Regarding the section of the 14th Amendment, which disqualifies officers of the United States who have participated in or called for rebellion while on a mission to “uphold” the Constitution, Trump asserts that “the president is not a United States officer in the sense in which this term is used in the Constitution,” his brief indicates, and that he never uttered the word “support.”
During the inauguration ceremony in Washington on January 20, 2017, Trump swore like any president, with his hand on the Bible, to “safeguard, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States”. Judge Sonia Sotomayor, the most liberal of the nine Sages, said Thursday that it was a “slightly complicated rule, designed to only benefit (Trump).”