On January 19, 2024, LDF, along with co-counsel Burt M. Rublin of Ballard Spahr LLP, filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court in the case Trump v. Anderson urges the Court to fulfill its duty to fully enforce the Fourteenth Amendment regardless of the outcome or political consequences. Trump v. Anderson concerns whether the actions of former president Donald Trump in connection with the January 6, 2021 insurrection render him ineligible to be a candidate in the 2024 presidential election pursuant to Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The Colorado Supreme Court determined that Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment disqualifies former President Trump from appearing on that state’s ballot because he engaged in an insurrection in connection with the events of January 6, 2021. The case is now being considered by the Supreme Court of the United States.
The Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution prohibits government officials who engage in insurrections against the United States from serving again as officers of the United States under Section 3 of that Amendment. The Fourteenth Amendment was adopted during the Reconstruction period to safeguard our newly multi-racial democracy from forces who opposed the abolition of slavery and Black citizenship.
In the brief, LDF argues that the Fourteenth Amendment is one of the three Reconstruction Amendments meant to protect the United States from threats against its democracy — particularly by prohibiting insurrectionists from serving in government. The brief further argues that Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment is self-executing, meaning that it does not require Congressional legislation to be enforced. The brief also explains that this case does not present a political question that is improper for judicial resolution.
LDF’s amicus brief is not submitted on behalf of any party and does not address whether the Colorado Supreme Court’s ultimate determination was correct; rather, the brief responds to arguments that the Court should not apply the Fourteenth Amendment in this case. Drawing on its decades of experience litigating seminal cases under the Fourteenth Amendment, LDF highlights the importance of the Amendment to the continuing existence of our constitutional democracy and urges the Court to ensure that it is fully enforced.
Read the full amicus brief here.