Should Trump be on the 2024 Presidential Ballot?

Barnard Students Share Their Thoughts.

On January 6, 2021, supporters of former president Donald Trump attacked the United States Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., disrupting a joint session of Congress which would affirm the results of the 2020 Presidential Election. Today, over three years later, the insurrection is still under investigation. 

As of a statistical update from the U.S. Department of Justice Attorney’s Office on January 5, 2024, over 1,265 defendants total have faced criminal charges including assaulting or causing serious bodily injury to police officers or members of the media, destruction or theft of government property, using deadly or dangerous weapons, and corruptly obstructing, influencing, or impeding of an official proceeding. Such an attack is unprecedented, both because of its very nature as an act of domestic terrorism and the role the former president played in causing it.

On July 1, 2021, Congress launched the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol. As published In its final report, Trump “directed his supporters to march down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol” after a speech he gave near the White House. Not only did he incite attendees, he invited them. 

The Committee’s report further states that Trump “summoned” far-right extremists and conspiracy theorists to Washington for a “wild protest” that would be joined by groups such as the Proud Boys, Three Percenters, QAnon adherents, Oath Keepers, Groypers, and others. 

These findings make Trump’s involvement in the insurrection clear. The question that remains is, does his involvement disqualify him from the 2024 Presidential Election?

The Colorado Supreme Court was the first to provide a concrete, judicial answer to this question. 

In a majority per curiam opinion that made headlines across the country, the Court ruled in favor of a group of Colorado voters’ lawsuit that sought to bar Trump from the state’s 2024 presidential ballot on the grounds of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. Otherwise known as its Disqualification Clause, the section states that “No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President… who, having previously taken an oath… as an officer of the United States… to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof…” 

This case matter was and is uncharted legal territory for Colorado, and for the country. 

Trump appealed the Colorado decision. His case, Donald J. Trump v. Norma Anderson, is currently on the floor of the U.S. Supreme Court. The case investigates the question: “Did the Colorado Supreme Court err in ordering President Trump excluded from the 2024 presidential primary ballot?” 

Arguments for the case began on February 8, 2024, and it is unknown when a decision will be reached. With Colorado’s fast approaching presidential primary on March 5, it is important for the Court to reach a decision quickly.

With the nation eagerly awaiting word from SCOTUS, Barnard students have many thoughts on the pending decision and its implications on the upcoming presidential election.

From Colorado, Sasha Celico (BC ‘25) expresses her pride in her state, saying “As a Coloradan, I am really proud that my state is standing up for what we believe should be on our ballot. I think SCOTUS should uphold the decision because it is representative of what Coloradans want symbolically.” Despite her confidence that Colorado will go blue in the election, Celico still believes that “it would be a big deal if it could snowball from this. I don’t know if it can, but I’m glad Colorado is trying.”

For Lillie Laing (BC ‘25), the fact that this question is still up in the air at all is unsettling, proving “how messed up the system is and how scary it is to live in a world with a man who clearly is corrupt can hold so much power and debate about his presidency.” 

“I am scared as a woman to have a president like him and although I do not believe he will win, I also didn’t believe he would win last time so anything can happen because America is so fucked up,” Laing says. Nevertheless, the Colorado case gives Laing  “hope that other states will follow in the same steps.”

Lynxie Voorhees (BC ‘24) gives further insight: “In one of my classes this semester we have been discussing the importance of tolerance in addressing differences in opinion. But where do we draw the line?” In times so polarizing that events like January 6th happen in the first place, Voorhees finds it “more and more difficult to tolerate Trump’s incompetence when it is harming everyone in his path. I should not have to tolerate an individual meant to serve his citizens who does not have my best interest in mind.”

Similarly, Ruth Weaver (BC ‘25) believes that “A man with so many criminal charges and convictions should not be allowed on the ballot.”

These opinions underscore the significance of Trump v. Anderson not only going into the 2024 presidential election, but for the broader discourse on accountability, integrity, and the future of American democracy at large that Barnard students care so passionately about.

Aya Aryan (BC ‘25) provides a final critical question: “What does it say about the United States that a person who could likely become president is a criminal?” 

For the most up-to-date information on Donald J. Trump v. Norma Anderson, see SCOTUS’ official Docket for 23-719.

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