I just finished listening to the oral argument held before the Supreme Court this morning in Trump v. Anderson. It went on for a little over two hours. The oral argument as a whole was conducted at an extremely high level. My take is that the Court will reverse the decision of the Colorado Supreme Court and that President Trump will not be disqualified from the ballot under section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment by any state.
Trump was represented by Jonathan Mitchell. I thought he did an outstanding job. Mitchell did the best by far of the three attorneys in responding to the questions raised by the justices.
I concluded from the tenor of the argument that one key to the case will be Chief Justice Chase’s construction of section 3 in Griffin’s Case, with Chase sitting as circuit justice and deciding the case a year after the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment. It is discussed by John Yoo in section II of his amicus brief for the Claremont Institute at pages 13-20.
The Court clearly understands the Pandora’s box that would be opened if Trump’s qualification for the ballot in the presidential election were to be determined on a state by state basis. I’m not sure how narrowly the Court will state its holding, but I think that all nine justices will join in overruling the Colorado decision before it.