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Hearings begin in two cases to block Trump from presidential election under 'insurrection' clause

Regardless of what the courts decide in the cases, their rulings are likely to be quickly appealed.

Published: October 30, 2023 8:15am

Updated: October 30, 2023 8:40am

Hearings are set to begin this week in two lawsuits arguing the Constitution's "insurrection" clause bars former President Donald Trump from running for the Oval Office again. 

A weeklong hearing to ban Trump from being on the ballot in Colorado begins Monday, while oral arguments are scheduled to start Tuesday before the Minnesota Supreme Court over a bid to remove him from the ballot in that state, according to The Associated Press.

Regardless of what the courts decide in the cases, their rulings are likely to be quickly appealed and eventually reach the Supreme Court.

The high court has never ruled on the Civil War-era clause of the 14th Amendment stating that officials who swore to uphold the U.S. Constitution, then " engaged in insurrection or rebellion" against it are banned from holding higher office. 

"We’ve had hearings with presidential candidates debating their eligibility before – Barack Obama, Ted Cruz, John McCain," Notre Dame Law professor Derek Muller said.

However, these cases are different and focus on "very heavy" legal questions, compared to the aforementioned ones that addressed the issue of being a "natural born citizens."

Trump has been indicted on felony charges alleging he incited an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 – with rioters attempting to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election that he lost. 

Trump has said the Colorado and Minnesota lawsuits constitute "election interference." 

His attorneys wrote in the Colorado case: "Trump’s comments did not come close to ‘incitement,’ let alone ‘engagement’ in an insurrection."

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