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Poll: Most Voters Would Back SCOTUS Action to Bar Trump From Office in Some Way

Only 39 percent of Americans want the court to rule that Trump is eligible or that states can't bar him from running.

Former President Donald Trump attends the closing arguments in the Trump Organization civil fraud trial at New York State Supreme Court on January 11, 2024, in New York City.

A new poll demonstrates that a majority of Americans would likely be happy with a Supreme Court decision that would bar former President Donald Trump from some or all state ballots in the upcoming 2024 presidential election.

Two states — Colorado and Maine — have so far deemed Trump ineligible to be listed on their respective Republican Party primary election ballots, based on the insurrection clause in the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The U.S. Supreme Court agreed earlier this month to hear challenges from Trump to those states’ actions, with oral arguments set to commence on February 8.

A decision from the Court is expected to come soon after that, as a fast response is needed so as not to disrupt the GOP primaries.

It’s unlikely that the Court will rule to bar Trump from any or all ballots — six of the nine justices are conservatives, with three of those justices being picked by the former president himself. But an ABC News/Ipsos poll published on Friday indicates that most Americans would prefer to see an action from the Court that would allow for Trump to be barred in at least some manner.

According to the poll, a plurality of Americans — 49 percent — back the actions taken by officials in Colorado and Maine to bar Trump from appearing on the ballot. Forty-six percent of Americans oppose those actions.

On what the Supreme Court should do, however, 30 percent believe the Court should rule to remove Trump from every ballot in the country, deeming him an insurrectionist under the terms of the 14th Amendment. Another 26 percent believe the Court should rule that his eligibility be decided on a state-by-state basis.

Taken together, the polling shows that 56 percent of voters would be fine with the Court rendering a decision blocking him from either some or all ballots across the country. Only 39 percent of respondents in the poll said the Supreme Court should rule that Trump is eligible for every ballot in the United States.

As the Court hears arguments from all parties involved, including receiving amicus briefs from others either in support of or opposing efforts to deny him ballot access, other states — including Alaska and Illinois — are currently pondering whether they, too, should deem Trump ineligible to run, making the Court’s decision all the more important to expediently render.

Section 3 of the 14th Amendment states that no person who has previously held a governmental position and has “previously taken an oath … to support the Constitution of the United States” can hold office ever again if they’ve “engaged in insurrection” or “given aid or comfort” to those who have, unless two-thirds of Congress votes to allow them to do so. The clause doesn’t require a person be found guilty of being an insurrectionist or otherwise have that designation given to them, and indeed, courts have, in the past, disqualified candidates when citizens have challenged their eligibility to run for office under that clause.

Trump arguably fits the bill, in many people’s minds, of someone who should be denied access to the presidential ballot based on his actions (and inaction) on January 6, 2021, when a mob of his loyalists, spurred on by an incendiary speech he had given to them that morning, violently attacked the U.S. Capitol building. Trump spent several hours refusing to call the mob off, and even posted tweets online that seemed to egg them on. He also used the opportunity to try to compel lawmakers in Congress to agree to illegitimately overturn the 2020 presidential election, which he had indubitably lost to President Joe Biden.

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