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Trump plans to skip SCOTUS hearing on ballot eligibility

Former president has used recent court appearances to bolster his 2024 presidential campaign

Ariana Baio
Wednesday 07 February 2024 16:13 GMT
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Donald Trump disqualified from Colorado’s 2024 ballot

Donald Trump is not expected to appear at the Supreme Court on Thursday for oral arguments in the case challenging his presidential primary ballot eligibility in Colorado, sources familiar with his plans told CNN.

Despite the former president using his recent trials and court proceedings as media coverage to promote his 2024 presidential campaign, the arguments in Trump v Anderson will apparently not serve as such.

Instead, Mr Trump will stay at his home in Mar-a-Lago, Florida, before heading to Nevada for Thursday’s Republican caucus.

A source close to Mr Trump’s legal team told CNN that the former president’s decision to skip the SCOTUS hearing is an indication of how seriously Mr Trump is taking this particular case.

The Independent has reached out to Mr Trump’s spokesperson for comment.

During previous court hearings in his myriad of criminal and civil cases, Mr Trump has made a show out of his attendance by speaking out of turn in the courtroom, attacking the judge, court staff and proscutors online – and more. 

Former U.S. President Donald Trump sits in the courtroom during his civil fraud trial at New York Supreme Court on January 11, 2024 in New York City. (Getty Images)

But in the case that could decide the future of his presidential campaign, Mr Trump is staying away from Washington DC and letting the well-known conservative lawyer, Jonathan F Mitchell, argue on his behalf.

Mr Mitchell, who is credited with devising the enforcement method in the Texas Heartbeat Act, has argued in front of the Supreme Court five times throughout his career. He has submitted briefs in favour of overturning Roe v Wade as well as ending affirmative action in higher education.

During Mr Trump’s presidency, Mr Mitchell assisted in the transition process and was later nominated to lead the Administration Conference of the US – though he failed to obtain a Senate vote.

Now, he will argue in front of the nine justices – one-third of which were appointed by Mr Trump – in favour of keeping the former president on the ballot by refuting challenges that invoke Section Three of the 14th Amendment, known as the insurrection clause.

Mr Trump is fighting for his future in the 2024 race after being disqualified from appearing on Colorado’s presidential primary ballot back in December.

The state’s supreme court found that Mr Trump had violated Section Three due to his involvement leading up to and on the day of the January 6 Capitol riot.

Mr Trump and his legal team filed an appeal to the Supreme Court which agreed to take up the case in January.

Though Mr Trump is not expected to appear, there is always the chance the former president changes his mind and makes a brief appearance at the Supreme Court.

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