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The student news site of Lake Forest Academy

The Spectator

The student news site of Lake Forest Academy

The Spectator

What’s happaning with the GOP and Trump?

Photo by shealah_craighead
Donald Trump on a conference call with military personel. (Courtesy of Creative Commons)

As we are nearing the 2024 Presidential Election, there have been drastic changes in regard to the primary candidates from the Republican Party. A particular person who has been in the spotlight recently is Former President Donald Trump. Although he has been a major topic of discussion in political and legal matters for quite some time, he is now facing what could become the ultimate downfall of his political career as he has been kicked off a few states’ ballots. While Florida Governor Ron DeSantis dropped out of the race on January 21st as Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley gained popularity, Trump continues to dominate the polls. The issue of states banning him from their ballots, particularly Colorado and Maine, does not seem to be impacting his performance. Despite the excessive backlash and controversy he has been receiving, Trump is persistent in defending himself and chasing the position as the leader of the Free World once more. 

On December 19th, the Colorado Supreme Court announced that Former President Donald Trump is ineligible for the White House, therefore banning him from the ballot. The main argument against Trump was his involvement in the insurrection on January 6th, 2021.


The Colorado Supreme Court claimed that Trump’s actions aligned with the 14th Amendment, Section 3, which states, “No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office…having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same….”


On December 29th, Maine followed Colorado to ban Trump from their ballot. Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows claimed that she was doing her job to protect the Constitution and the ban wasn’t political. She affirmed that Trump’s behavior on January 6th “was an assault not only on the Capitol and government officials, including the former vice president and members of Congress, but on the rule of law itself.”


On the same day, California announced that Trump would be included on their primary ballot. California Secretary of State Shirley Weber claimed that Trump’s “behavior and his actions, not just as a former president, but as a citizen of the United States, to be abhorrent and disturbing and an attack on democracy,” she continued, “but at the same time, if I believe in this democracy that is there, I have to basically continue to abide by the rule of law.”


On January 3rd, Trump appealed Colorado’s ban to the US Supreme Court, urging to reject the ruling of his ballot bans. Trump’s attorneys claimed that the Constitution does not state that the President is an “officer of the states,” and the President swore an oath to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution” but not “support the Constitution” as stated in the 14th Amendment. So, on January 5th, the US Supreme Court agreed to hear Trump’s case.


Even with the controversies surrounding Trump, his actions, and the entire puzzling situation, he managed to win the majority of Iowa and New Hampshire’s caucuses by 50 to 55 percent. Meanwhile, ever since the initial word of Trump’s insurrection, Nikki Haley has been making statements about his involvement in the attack on the Capitol. In an interview aired on ABC’s “This Week,” Haley stated, “When President Trump had the opportunity to stop it, when he had the opportunity to say – the bully pulpit matters, people listen – he didn’t.” Despite losing the two states’ majorities, Haley has been gaining more attention, causing further tension with Trump. However, this increase in recognition may not ultimately win her the GOP nomination. As many of these people have hope in Haley to win this year’s election, not all of them are completely supportive of her; instead, they are mainly opposed to Trump winning another election. Trump has many supporters, but Haley continues to believe that she can win due to the amount of funding she receives. Still, there is a great chance that there could be another showdown between Trump and Biden all over again. Being the only Republican candidate left to compete against Trump, Nikki Haley is standing between the 2020 contenders.

Nikki Haley Campaigns in Omaha, Nebraska.
(Courtesy of Creative Commons)

While the entire country is waiting for the Supreme Court hearing, the Trump-Haley rivalry is left to continue. With the uncertainty of the situation, we can only predict so much as states prepare for their own primaries. As the election continues to approach, Trump’s insurrection is a major topic on voters’ minds. It may be clear to some that Trump’s involvement in the insurrection breaks the 14th Amendment, making him unable to run for office again. However, according to Assistant Dean of Students and AP Government teacher Ackim Mpofu, although Trump went against the Constitution, “it’s not as easy as it looks.” Since the primary elections are currently held at the state level, there is not much the Supreme Court can do until the GOP has nominated their candidate.

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