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Weekly Spotlight: Time is of the Essence

Setting up for a pivotal showdown.

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Delivered to our subscribers on Saturdays, the Weekly Spotlight is a roundup of POGO's latest work and announcements. Sign up to get this newsletter delivered to your inbox.

Happy New Year, and welcome back to the Weekly Spotlight.

Over our holiday hiatus, former President Donald J. Trump was barred from presidential ballots in Colorado and Maine. Both states disqualified Trump from running for office under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment of the Constitution, also known as the disqualification clause, which prohibits government officials who had sworn to uphold the Constitution but then who engaged in insurrection from running for office again.

Earlier this week, Trump appealed the decisions in the Maine state courts and the U.S. Supreme Court. The appeals set up for a pivotal showdown in the coming weeks over whether Trump’s actions leading up to and during the January 6, 2021, insurrection have rendered him ineligible for office. Whichever way the Supreme Court rules will be precedent across the country.

We have long held that the disqualification clause can be enforced today and that Trump’s actions disqualify him from holding future office under the 14th Amendment, so we are closely following Supreme Court action on the appeal. As our Senior Policy Analyst David Janovsky noted to BBC News, “time is of the essence” now that primaries are right around the corner.


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“The fact that we now have two states in Colorado and Maine that have made this determination against the backdrop of other states that have declined to go that far means that if there was ever a case for the Supreme Court to resolve, this would be it.”

David Janovsky, Senior Policy Analyst, The Constitution Project in BBC News