Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas calmly eviscerated attorney Jason Murray, the lawyer representing Colorado voters before the Supreme Court, after he tried to argue for disqualifying President Donald Trump from Colorado’s 2024 presidential primary ballot.
As Jim Hoft previously reported, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments at 10 A.M regarding President Donald Trump’s appeal of the Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling that bars him from appearing on the state’s ballots based on their opinion of his role in the January 6, 2021 protests.
The radical left Colorado Supreme Court outrageously claims that Trump is ineligible to run for President because he supposedly violated a provision in the 14th Amendment preventing those who “engaged in insurrection” from holding office. Trump, of course, did not engage in an “insurrection,” nor has he been charged or convicted of taking part in one.
During Thursday’s hearing, Murray laughably attempted to defend the Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling. He specifically claimed that Section 3 of the 14th Amendment uses broad language and gives states the power to include the presidency as one position eligible for disqualification.
But when Thomas got the opportunity to question Murray, the lawyer’s argument completely fell apart. When Thomas asked for specific examples of states disqualifying national candidates, Murray could not provide one despite being given multiple opportunities. The stumped lawyer then finally admits he does not have one.
Murray also had to be corrected on fundamental election law after he asserted that states had the power to run federal elections themselves.
After Thomas finishes his dissection of Murray, Roberts suddenly discovers his spine and finishes off the Colorado lawyer.
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas EVICERATES Colorado attorney Jason Murray during Donald Trump’s 14th Amendment hearing at SCOTUS.
Thomas – “What are the examples?”
Murray – Provides no examples.
Thomas – “Do you have any examples of this?”
Murray – Still no examples. pic.twitter.com/fkiRvkKnvb
— Conservative Brief (@ConservBrief) February 8, 2024
Thomas: It would seem that particularly after Reconstruction and after the Compromise of 1877 and during the period of Redeemers, that you would have that kind of conflict. There were a plethora of Confederates still around, there were any number of people who would continue to either run for state offices or national offices. So, that would suggest that there would at least be a few examples of national candidates being disqualified if your reading is correct.
Murray: There were certainly national candidates who were disqualified by Congress for refusing to seat them…
Thomas (cutting him off): I understand that. But that’s not this case. I understand that Congress would not seat them.
Murray: Other than the example I gave, no. But again, your honor, that’s not surprising. States certainly wouldn’t have the authority to remove a sitting federal officer.
Thomas: So, what was the purpose of Section 3? The concern was that the former Confederate states would continue being bad actors, and the effort was to prevent them from doing this, and you’re saying that, “Well, this also authorizes states to disqualify candidates.”
So, what I’m asking you for, if you are right, what are the examples?
Murray: Well, your honor, the truth is states excluded many candidates from state office. We have a number of published cases of states that…
Thomas: I understand that. I understand the states controlling state elections and state positions. What we are talking about are national candidates.
There were people who felt very strongly about retaliating against the South, the Radical Republicans, but they did not think about authorizing the South to disqualify national candidates, and that’s the argument you’re making.
And what I would like to know is if you have any examples of this.
Murray (giving up): Many of those historians have filed briefs in our support in this case, making the point that the idea of the 14th Amendment was that both states and the federal government would ensure rights, and if states failed to do so, the federal government would also step in.
I think the reason why there aren’t examples of states doing this is an idiosyncratic one of the fact that elections work differently back then; states have a background power under Article II and the Tenth Amendment to run presidential elections. They didn’t use that power to police ballot access until about the 1890s. And by the 1890s, everyone had received amnesty and these issues have become moot.
Roberts: Look at Justice Thomas’s questions sort of from the 30,000-foot level. I mean, the whole point of the Fourteenth Amendment was to restrict state power. Right? States shall not abridge privileges or immunities. They won’t deprive people of property without due process, and they won’t deny equal protection. On the other hand, it augmented federal power under Section Five. Congress has the power to enforce it. So wouldn’t that be the last place that you’d look for authorization for the states, including Confederate states, to enforce implicitly authorized to enforce the presidential election process?
That seems to be a position that is at war with the whole thrust of the Fourteenth Amendment and very ahistorical.