A former federal judge is using his influence to call on the United States Supreme Court to disenfranchise voters by removing President Donald Trump from the 2024 ballots.
Former Judge J. Michael Luttig is one of the main sponsors of the legal theory behind efforts to remove Trump from the ballots.
Luttig has submitted a brief to the Supreme Court arguing that Trump “disqualified himself.”
He advanced familiar arguments in his amicus brief, which held Trump responsible for an “armed insurrection” that Luttig compared to the Civil War.
The untested theory claims that Trump is ineligible to be president under an obscure clause of the Fourteenth Amendment that bars “insurrectionists” from federal office.
Luttig’s argument focused on the notion that Trump did, in fact, engage in an “insurrection” as the Fourteenth Amendment’s framers understood it.
“As on January 6, 2021, the December 20, 1860 insurrection in South Carolina was against the forthcoming transfer of executive power to a newly-elected President,” he wrote.
Luttig attempted to sway the court’s conservatives by arguing that a “textualist” approach requires finding Trump ineligible.
The court’s conservative justices are often described as textualists or originalists, who interpret the Constitution as written.
Luttig also attempted to counter one of the most logical arguments in Trump’s favor – that removing him from the ballot is undemocratic.
In response, Luttig noted that the Constitution includes some undemocratic features like the Electoral College.
“Not much would remain of our Constitution if this Court narrowly enforced the Constitution’s provisions when they potentially frustrate large numbers of voters,” he wrote.
Despite Luttig’s confident assertions, the issue of Trump’s eligibility has – naturally, since it is so unprecedented – divided the courts.
The Colorado Supreme Court, which issued the ruling that the SCOTUS is now reviewing, was narrowly split 4-3.
Meanwhile, challenges have been thrown out in a number of states, although on procedural grounds.
In his own brief to the Supreme Court – which hears oral arguments on February 8 – Trump warned that removing him from the ballot would disenfranchise voters and unleash “bedlam” throughout the country.
Trump’s “bedlam” comment has sometimes been twisted as a call for political violence by the Democrats and corporate media.
However, Trump – and even critics of his like former Attorney General Bill Barr – say the precedent being set in removing the 45th president could destabilize the American political system.
Trump has not been convicted or even charged with “insurrection,” something experts have been quick to point out.
Some of Trump’s critics on the right have filed briefs in his support, including Barr and Mitch McConnell.