Former US President Donald Trump wants to move back into the White House – and bring a dispute about his participation in the upcoming primaries to the US Supreme Court. As his campaign team announced, he turned to the Supreme Court in Washington to overturn a decision in the state of Colorado that disqualified him from the primary there.

Plaintiffs are currently seeking to have Trump’s name removed from ballots for the presidential primaries on January 6, 2021, in various states. At that time, Trump’s supporters violently stormed the Capitol in Washington – incited by a speech by the newly elected US President, who claimed without evidence that his victory against challenger Joe Biden had been stolen from him through massive fraud. Five people were killed and the images of the riots were burned into the collective memory of the USA.

That’s what the plaintiffs say

Anyone who wants to run as a presidential candidate for the Republicans or Democrats must first prevail in the party’s internal primaries. In order to disqualify Trump from these primary races, his opponents are arguing with the so-called ban on insurrection in the 14th Amendment. Accordingly, no one may hold a higher office in the state who has previously taken part in an uprising against the state as an official. Although the passage mentions some examples of such higher offices, the office of president is not explicitly mentioned.

In states like Michigan and Minnesota, plaintiffs’ attempts to disqualify Trump failed. Decisions are still pending in other states. Meanwhile, decisions against Trump were made in Maine and Colorado. However, the two decisions had been suspended for the time being pending Trump’s objection. It was assumed that the sensitive political question would ultimately end up before the US Supreme Court. On Wednesday, Trump’s campaign team announced that it had actually taken this step.

That’s what Trump’s team says

With the application to the US Supreme Court, Trump’s team wants to overturn the decision of the highest court in Colorado. It was an “un-American, unconstitutional act of election interference,” the statement said. The court ruled in December that Trump was unfit to be president and therefore could not take part in the state’s primary. Trump had also previously appealed against a similar decision by the top election supervisor in Maine, but initially in a lower court.

According to US media, Trump’s lawyers are now arguing before the Supreme Court that the court in Colorado has exceeded its authority – the question of a president’s suitability is a matter for the US Congress and not for state courts. The constitutional amendment that the plaintiffs rely on is not applicable in Trump’s case. In addition to the ex-president, the American Center for Law and Justice has also filed an appeal against the court decision there on behalf of the Republican Party in Colorado.

That’s what observers say

The Supreme Court could theoretically dismiss the question. However, legal experts expect that the judges will take up the matter in order to avoid legal chaos in the election year. During his term in office, Trump shifted the majority on the court significantly to the right: to six of the nine seats. However, the Supreme Court did not always rule in his favor.

“I call on the court to review this case as quickly as possible,” commented the Colorado election minister, Jena Griswold, on X (formerly Twitter). Politicians close to Trump made similar statements. “The Supreme Court should take up this case immediately and overturn the court’s ridiculous decision in Colorado,” Missouri Republican Senator Josh Hawley wrote on X.

The case in the USA is already being compared to the historic negotiations over the 2000 presidential election. At that time the question was whether the votes in the crucial state of Florida should be recounted. The Supreme Court declared the election over, making Republican George W. Bush president and Democrat Al Gore losing out.

That’s what the clock says

Time is running out. The Republican primary begins on January 15th with the first vote in the state of Iowa. The Republican primaries in Colorado and Maine take place on March 5th, the so-called Super Tuesday, when voting takes place in a number of US states. However, the ballot papers are printed some time in advance.

Trump wants to run for the Republicans again in November, and in polls he is far ahead of the field of Republican candidates so far. For the Democrats, Biden wants to run for a second term. He has no serious internal competition.

In addition to the legal dispute over his participation in the primaries, Trump also faces several major court proceedings in the coming months on various criminal charges – including the storming of the Capitol and his attempts to retroactively overturn the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.