Colorado Solicitor General Shannon Stevenson is now representing Secretary of State Jenna Griswold. She is making the case that Colorado has the power under state election code to disqualify candidates who are ineligible to hold the office they seek.
In a lengthy response, Murray passionately argued that the issue was central to the defense of democracy.
“Constitutional safeguards are aimed at protecting our democracy, not just for the next election cycle but for generations to come,” he said. “And second, Section 3 is designed to protect our democracy in the same way. The framers of Section 3 knew from painful experience that those who had violently broken their oath to the Constitution would be barred from assuming power again. cannot be trusted because they could destroy our constitutional democracy from within.”
He added, “President Trump can ask Congress to pardon him by a two-thirds vote, but until he does, our Constitution protects us from insurrectionists.”
“This case shows the danger of refusing to invoke Section 3 as written because the reason we are here is because President Trump tried to disenfranchise the 80 million Americans who voted against him and The Constitution does not require that he be given another chance.”
Anti-Trump protesters protest outside the US Supreme Court as the court considers whether former President Donald Trump is eligible to run for president in the 2024 election, in Washington, February 8, 2024. Roberto Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images
“Do we have to decide what the appropriate standard of proof is?” Alito asked. “Shall we give any deference to these findings by state court judges, some of whom may be elected? Shall we have to conduct our own tests?”
Murray said, “No, Your Honor, this court takes the evidentiary record as it is.” “And here we have an evidentiary record that all parties agree is sufficient for a decision in this case.”
“The fact that there is a potentially frivolous application of a constitutional provision is no reason to…,” Murray began to respond, before Roberts cut him off.
“You may think they’re trivial, I think the people who are bringing them in won’t think they’re trivial,” Roberts said. “Insurrection is a broad, broad term and there is some debate about it.”
“There’s a reason Section 3 is inactive for 150 and that’s because we haven’t seen anything like January 6 since Reconstruction,” countered Murray.
In this April 23, 2021 file photo, Chief Justice John Roberts sits during a group photo at the Supreme Court in Washington. Erin Schaff/AP, File