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Unanimous U.S. Supreme Court Keeps Trump On Colorado Ballot; U.S. Supreme Court rules Trump can remain on 2024; Amy Coney Barrett Leaves 'Message' in Supreme Court's Donald Trump Ruling. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired March 04, 2024 - 10:00:00   ET





BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Well, welcome back. This is the second hour of CONNECT THE WORLD. This hour, we are tracking two live

events: The U.N. General Assembly holds a session on Gaza. And here is the U.S. defense of its veto on the ceasefire resolution in the Security


And in the U.S. Capitol. The Supreme Court may rule on Donald Trump's eligibility to hold office any minute now.

There is widespread speculation that the highest court will rule on Donald Trump's eligibility to appear on the ballot. In Colorado, that state's

primary happens tomorrow, part of the Super Tuesday slate of contests across the United States.

The Colorado Supreme Court deemed Trump ineligible to run for president. They are citing the ban on insurrectionists in the U.S. Constitution.

Trump's name is already on the printed ballots for Tuesday, but a ruling today will determine if a vote for him counts if that's what we get and

will impact the status of similar cases in a few other states.

Jessica Schneider is in Washington as you hit refresh on your devices, awaiting the ruling to drop if indeed it is this ruling. Let's just talk

about the significance.

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: And it is that ruling, Becky, you know --


ANDERSON: And as I understand that we have the ruling.

SCHNEIDER: Yes, yes. It just came down. And we understand that this is an opinion favoring Donald Trump. This is reversing what the Colorado Supreme

Court did.

So, this is saying that Donald Trump can, in fact, be on the ballot, particularly in Colorado. But this has broad implications throughout the

country. This means that states won't be able to unilaterally take Donald Trump off the ballot because of their individual interpretations of the

14th Amendment, Section Three of the 14th Amendment.

So, we're still sort of reading through the opinion, to get the exact parameters, the exact language, but sort of as we expected, this is a win

for Donald Trump. This is something that during the arguments, we could see justices on both sides of the ideological spectrum really leaning toward

Donald Trump, and maybe less leaning toward Donald Trump, but more leaning against the idea that individual states could take matters of federal

elections in their own hands, deeming who would be on the ballot.

A lot of the justices including Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, Justice Elena Kagan, both on the liberal leaning side of things, really expressing

this concern, Becky, that if states could just unilaterally take candidates off the ballot, it would lead to a lot of confusion, a lot of chaos. And

obviously, in an election year, that's something the Supreme Court really wants to avoid here.

So, the opinion coming in. We can take a closer look at it in a few minutes. But, you know, tomorrow is Super Tuesday. And what's interesting

about this opinion is that typically, we get several days' notice before an opinion comes down from the Supreme Court.

We hadn't heard anything Friday, and knowing that Super Tuesday, where about more than a dozen states are going to the polls tomorrow. We knew it

was possible that the Supreme Court would issue an opinion today, but we actually didn't find out until yesterday that they were going to issue the


We figured it was the Colorado decision. It is. So, what this means practically for voters, Becky, is that tomorrow, those voters in the dozen

plus states around the country, most notably including Colorado and Maine, both of whose courts had ruled that Trump should be taken off the ballot,

those voters can now go to the polls tomorrow and know that Donald Trump is on the ballot because the ballots were already printed, but they can know

that if they vote for Donald Trump, the vote will actually count.

Whereas, before, we had the Supreme Court opinion, it wasn't quite clear. So, that's probably the practical takeaway from this opinion. Becky.

ANDERSON: Jessica, let me give you a few moments just to read in and get more detail on this. Because it has been Just dropped.


Meantime, I want to bring in David Weinstein. He is a lawyer and a former state and federal prosecutor, and served as an assistant U.S. attorney

As it has just dropped. Meantime, I want to bring in David to Weinstein. He's a lawyer and a former state and federal prosecutor and served as an

assistant U.S. attorney in Florida.

David, as I understand it, this was a unanimous decision. All nine judges ruling in favor of Donald Trump. Your immediate reaction?

DAVID WEINSTEIN, FORMER STATE AND FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Becky, I'm not surprised, given the way the questions were asked and the answers they were

getting in the way they were pushing. I think we all saw this coming. If nothing else, it gives a uniformity to the answer to this question.

Now, there are not going to be other states that are going to interpret this law on this amendment one way and others another way. And so, they

have now given every state an answer, and the answer is his name can appear on the ballot, and everyone will move on from here.

ANDERSON: What does this mean, for Donald Trump?

WEINSTEIN: It means another victory for him. I suspect that he will hold a press conference, take a victory lap, tell everyone in the U.S. that he was

right yet again, it emboldened his position, and the things that he is been saying. And it means his name is going to appear on the primary ballot. And

from there, if he is the nominee of the Republican Party, his name will appear on the ballot for the general election in November.

ANDERSON: Many legal experts had said that there was no reason for the Supreme Court to take this immunity case. And yet, they did. What's your


WEINSTEIN: Well, turning over to the immunity case, they could have just let it sit as it had with the opinion from the D.C. Circuit Court of

Appeals and let that case play out as every other case does.

You go to trial, if the defendant loses, then you take the issue up. And so, I am amongst those who are shocked that they decided to take this up.

It also delays not only that trial, but the other federal trial that's pending here.

And so, again, just the fact that they took up the case is a victory for the former president. However, once they make the decision, it's a narrow

question that they've reframed it. So, it's going to leave a lot of other questions on answer. It's really not necessarily going to clear everything


ANDERSON: Just provide for us and our international viewers some context for this. We are at the beginning of March, the U.S. has an election -- no,

the beginning of November.

And at this point, there are two leading candidates, one for each party, Donald Trump and Joe Biden. Providing some context, if you will.

WEINSTEIN: Well, we've never seen anything like this before. Look, even dating back to the 1800s were one of the candidates who was running was in

jail. And we've seen something potentially similar to this, we've never seen an instance where one of the candidates for a major party here in the

U.S. is under indictment.

Now, look, you're presumed innocent until you're proven guilty. And so, that's the process that's being undertaken. But he is going to have to

appear in court to answer questions once these cases are set for trial. And that's going to take him off the campaign trail. You don't have that going

on, on the other side. It certainly stretches the boundaries of imagination to look at this and try to even envision a situation similar this having

occurred before.

ANDERSON: As I understand this, the thinking as far as the Supreme Court judges are concerned -- and once again, this was a unanimous decision. All

nine judges ruling in Donald Trump's favor.

They did this because the Constitution makes Congress rather than the states responsible for enforcing the section in the Constitution against

federal official holders and candidates, and being taken off a ballot. Can you just provide a little bit more detail on that?

WEINSTEIN: Certainly, Becky. So, the 14th Amendment is the place we're looking, and there's a certain clause in there that is directed towards

preventing someone who was involved in this type of activity from being on the ballot.

And, again, based not only on my quick reading of the opinion, but on the questions, they were asking. Their feeling was is that Congress, our

national body of legislatures should determine whether or not to enforce this particular poor part of the 14th Amendment in that individual states,

because that could lead to disparity throughout our country, even within certain states, depending on who is putting names on the ballot.

And so, their feeling is, Congress is the person -- or the people rather to enforce the 14th Amendment.


And therefore, it should be enforced at a federal, not a state level. And so, that's why their decision quite frankly was unanimous that, that they

believe that the law should be enforced at the federal level and give uniformity.

And so that's the impact to me as to why they not only were unanimous, but why this ruling came down the way it did.

ANDERSON: Let me bring back Jessica Schneider, who has been doing a little bit more reading on this ruling.

Thank you, sir.

Jessica, what more do you see at this point?

SCHNEIDER: Yes, you know, like you guys have been talking about this is a unanimous decision from this court. They are all agreeing that the Colorado

Supreme Court ruling that took Trump off the ballot needs to be overruled. And they put it this way.

They say the responsibility for enforcing section three against federal office holders and candidates, rests with Congress and not the states. The

judgement of the Colorado Supreme Court, therefore, cannot stand.

And right after they say that, they say that all of the justices -- all nine justices agree that the Colorado Supreme Court ruling can't stand. But

there is some difference as to the belief that Congress should be enforcing this and not the courts. So, that might be an issue for a later time.

We see a little bit later in the opinion. Three of the justices or I should say, four of the justices. The liberal leaning justices: Justice Sonia

Sotomayor, Justice Elena Kagan, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, but also, Amy Coney Barrett, there is some difference in opinion as to their -- you

know, the other five justices said that, you know, this is up to Congress to enforce the 14th Amendment Section Three. The court should not be

stepping in here to enforce or uphold this so-called insurrectionist clause.

Apparently, these other four justices disagree with the reasoning, somewhat. But the takeaway is the same that all nine justices as we saw

during the oral arguments, they all believed that it was just a step too far to give states the power to step in and say who or who should not be

eligible for federal office under the 14th Amendment.

And one particular note that they make, let me pull up the exact quote. This says, we conclude that states may disqualify persons holding or

attempting to hold state office. But states have no power under the Constitution to enforce Section Three, with respect to federal offices,

especially the presidency.

And again, this was something we saw hammered home at the -- at the oral arguments was that it's just not up to the states to determine the

eligibility for federal office that would throw the whole federal election scheme into chaos. And that is obviously something the Supreme Court is

avoiding today, in this opinion.

Again, Super Tuesday, tomorrow, where more than a dozen states will go to the polls to cast their ballots. So, this was an important ruling that came

out one day before a big contest in many, many states. Becky.

ANDERSON: Yes, this, this is clearly a big win for Donald Trump going into Super Tuesday.


ANDERSON: This goes beyond though Donald Trump, doesn't it? As I understand that this is all office holders. Let's just be clear about this.

SCHNEIDER: It is. You know, this is saying that states individually cannot decide which candidates are in are not eligible for federal office,

specifically under the 14th Amendment Section Three, which deals with this insurrection clause.

I mean, remember, Becky, this was a clause that was enacted in the wake of the Civil War. And it has never been -- it actually hasn't been applied in

more than 100 years.

So, the fact that these state courts used the January 6th Capitol attack as a reasoning for why Donald Trump should not be on the ballots there, that

was something completely unique, that we have never seen in history, and that this specific clause hadn't been applied in any respects in more than

100 years.

So, it was a very novel theory that -- it was actually something that we'd been tracking for months and months, and never really expected it to gain

traction. But then sure enough, more and more states began seizing on this idea that they could eliminate Donald Trump from the ballot.

The Supreme Court now definitively stepping in, saying, states, you don't have that right or that power.

ANDERSON: Let me bring back David Weinstein, who is still with us.

Jessica. standby, please. Your analysis and insight is so important. I'll give you another couple of minutes just to further read the ruling.

David, this comes after months of debate over whether Donald Trump violated what is known as this insurrectionist clause in the 14th Amendment. And as

Jessica has rightly reminded us and you discuss with me a little earlier, this comes just a day before Super Tuesday.


Was there a responsibility by the Supreme Court, at this point, to deliver a ruling and deliver that ruling before tomorrow?

WEINSTEIN: Absolutely, Becky. Look, there are people going to the polls tomorrow to vote in a primary. It's rather been determined already that he

is going to be the nominee of the Republican Party.

But when I go to the polls as a voter, I want my vote to count. And if this decision had been undecided, and there was a potential that it was going to

go against the former president, well, then people who went to the poll cast their vote, their vote would have been a nullity. So, yes, it was

urgently important for the justices to have ruled on this before people went to the polls tomorrow.

ANDERSON: They have ruled that only Congress can enforce the 14th Amendment, the insurrectionist clause against federal candidates. So, is

this ultimately the end of the road? Or is there a world in which Congress does take this up going forward?

WEINSTEIN: As the way the 14th Amendment is written right now, it's the end of the road. Now, Congress is our legislative body. If they want to change

the rules, if they want to propose new legislation, if they want to attempt to add another amendment to the Constitution and bring that before the

United States, they can all do that.

But as it's written, it's the end of the road for this particular challenge. Keep in mind, the one thing they didn't address was whether or

not the former president had engaged in insurrection, they addressed how difficult it would be and what the burden of proof might be, and why they

were saying that this had to be legislated at a federal level. But they didn't pass any judgement on the facts that were relied upon by the

Colorado Supreme Court in finding that he did engage in insurrection. So, that question still remains out there.

ANDERSON: Here is a quote from the ruling: "The majority announces that a disqualification for insurrection can occur only when Congress enacts a

particular kind of legislation, pursuant to Section 5 of the 14th Amendment."

In doing so, the majority shuts the door on other potential means of federal enforcement. I just wanted our viewers to get the very specific

language in this ruling. Your thoughts, David?

WEINSTEIN: Well, it -- Becky, it's important that you quote that. And that's exactly what they ruled here. It shut the door as it's written. And

it said, if, you know, Congress is the body to enforce it. Now. It's up to Congress to decide whether or not they want to enact additional

legislation. But as to the legislation that we have right now, as we stand here today, that's the end of this argument.

ANDERSON: Step back for a moment. This is the breaking news of the moment. A unanimous Supreme Court decision keeping Donald Trump on the Colorado

ballot just 24 hours before Super Tuesday, of course. Can you just give us a sense from your perspective as to where Donald Trump's very busy court

schedule his cases stand between now and November?

WEINSTEIN: Well, the first place he needs to be is in New York State on the 25th of March, where he and his lawyers will be selecting a jury on those

state court charges. In the background, he and his business partners need to determine how they're going to come up with north of $455 million to put

it in place either by a bond or by a loan. So, they can appeal the judgement that was enforced against them by a civil court there.

Next on tap are going to be arguments before this same U.S. Supreme Court again on April the 22nd, with regard to whether or not there is a limited

type of immunity that he could be afforded for acts he undertook as president, during the time he was president in connection with the

Washington, D.C. case that's been filed there.

And then, certainly, what's going on right now is a judge in Atlanta, Georgia is trying to decide whether or not to disqualify the district

attorney there. That case has not had a trial date, but that's moving forward.

And last but not least, we're waiting for a trial date down here in South Florida. The district court judge in Fort Pierce had hearings on Friday to

determine when that case was going to take place and she is going to have to work with his schedule and get everything around that. So, it's going to

be a busy couple of months for the former president.

Plus, when he's not required to be in court, I'm sure he's going to be out on the campaign trail.


ANDERSON: David, before I let you go, I see one commentator suggesting that this was a constitutional no brainer. Asking why on earth did those that

brought this to the Supreme Court do it? Do you agree?

WEINSTEIN: Well, I think in terms of the use of the word, no brainer, it was a matter that had to be brought to the U.S. Supreme Court. I do not

fault the people who brought their action in these individual states based on their beliefs and their understanding and interpretation of the 14th


But you're entitled to do that. That's the way our system works. If you believe you have a meritorious lawsuit, you bring it. And so, those people

brought it. And lower courts are often reversed by higher courts, and this is just one instance of that.

But in terms of it, being addressed by the Supreme Court, to me, yes, that part of this was a no brainer. The part about bringing the action. I think

that those people were entitled to bring the action based on the facts they had, and to attempt to enforce their viewpoint of how the amendment


ANDERSON: Fascinating.

Let me bring Jessica Schneider, back in. She has been further reading the ruling. You're in Washington, Jessica, of course. What more do you have?

SCHNEIDER: Well, what's really interesting here, Becky, is we're seeing the Supreme Court being thrust or at least, thrusting themselves straight into

the middle of an election.

You know, this is the most active, probably, the Supreme Court's been directly in an election since 2000, when they ruled in Bush v. Gore to hold

the recount in Florida, effectively handing that election to George W. Bush.

And what's interesting is, you know, this is a relatively short opinion, where all nine justices did agree that Trump should not be taken off the

ballot in Colorado or anywhere else, especially important, one day before Super Tuesday, and just a few months before the general election.

But what I found particularly interesting is that a few of the justices wrote separately, including the conservative leaning justice, Amy Coney

Barrett. And I'll read for you one part of where she really addresses the high temperature that is happening around the country right now.

I'll read this for you. She says, "the court has settled a politically charged issue in the volatile season of a presidential election,

particularly in this circumstance. Writings on the court should turn the national temperature down, not up. For present purposes, our differences

are far less important than our unanimity. All nine justices agree on the outcome of this case. That is the message Americans should take home."

So, the Supreme Court really addressing, or at least Amy Coney Barrett is, the fact that the Supreme Court has will be and is right now sort of at the

center of some of the major issues as we head into a general election. They have just decided this Colorado case ruling, essentially, in favor of Trump

to keep him on the ballot in Colorado, in every state across the nation.

But notably, in just a few weeks, at the end of April, they'll take up this other case involving Donald Trump on immunity. Whether or not he should be

immune from prosecution in the January 6 case here in federal court in Washington, DC.

So, these justices are acknowledging that they are at, you know, at the center of a very fraught moment in American history, right at the midst of

an election year. So, you know, the takeaway from them is, we're all united on this issue that Donald Trump should stay on the ballot. They do

disagree, though, Becky, as I mentioned before, some of the particulars of this case. There is some disagreement as to whether courts have a role in

deciding this issue and future cases or whether it's Congress. And then, there is also the question of whether states have any say, in any Federal

officer or just the presidency.

So, maybe those are some issues to be worked out. In another case, somewhere down the line.

But Justice Amy Coney Barrett wanting to remind the American public that they are united, at least on this issue. We'll see what comes down the line

in these other cases that the court will hear on the immunity issue in April.

ANDERSON: On the issue of eligibility, at least, this one is closed. Case closed.


ANDERSON: You're watching CONNECTED WORLD. Thank you, Jessica. Well done. There is more news ahead. Stay with us.



ANDERSON: On our "BREAKING NEWS", the U.S. Supreme Court has just ruled that former President Donald Trump can appear on the primary ballot in


In a unanimous decision, the court's nine justices rejected the Colorado Supreme Court's ruling to ban Trump, based on the insurrectionist clause in

the U.S. Constitution.

Today's ruling coming just a day before Colorado voters head to the polls in the state's presidential primary. They head there as part of what is

known in the states as Super Tuesday.

CNN's. Stephen Collinson. Joining us now from Washington. Firstly, your response to what we have just been reported.

STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN POLITICS SENIOR REPORTER: I think, Becky, that it's important in terms of the political legitimacy of this decision, and the

court itself, as opposed to the judicial merits that this was nine-nothing.

We're already embroiled in extreme tests of America's political and judicial institutions, largely because of the way that Donald Trump is

running his campaign. Rooted, I think, all the way back in his claim was that he actually won the 2020 election when he lost it.

So, the fact that the court came out, 9-0 and didn't break down on partisan lines, I think at least shows for now that one U.S. institution, at least

can work and make its decisions out with the venomous political climate.

Whether that is the case going forward, as you were talking about just before the break, there is another big case going before the Supreme Court

and the question of Donald Trump's massive claims of sweeping immunity, which he is bringing in order to try and forestall the prosecution in the

2020 election interference case.

But if the Court ruled on his behalf, and that one, it would really change the powers of the presidency and perception of what a president can do. And

that, of course, is hugely important given the fact that he is striking a very autocratic tone going into his bid for a second term. So that

unanimity of the court holds for now, whether it will be the same in the coming case, I think, will be an interesting question.

ANDERSON: So, let's just be very clear about this. In the past 20 minutes or so, the Supreme Court, the highest court in the states has ruled that

individual states cannot remove former President Donald Trump from the ballot. And this was conservative and liberal justices voting together or

ruling together in what is a 9-0 unanimous vote.

We are a day away from Super Tuesday. Where does this leave us at this point?

COLLINSON: Well, Have the court decided the other way it would have left us in complete chaos. Not least because Trump is on the ballot in Colorado on

Tuesday in the primary there.


And if the court had ruled that he couldn't be on the ballot, his votes in that primary wouldn't have been counted. And the whole mechanics of the

U.S. presidential election would be in doubt. And then I think you would have seen absolute chaos because you can have the idea that individual

states could, by themselves decide that someone was an insurrectionist. What was to stop, for example, Texas for declaring that President Joe Biden

is effectively insurrectionist by -- in their idea, refusing to secure the southern border?

So, I think we've escaped real case. I think stepping back this is a massive week in American politics, not just this Supreme Court ruling.

Super Tuesday will probably get Donald Trump to within touching distance of his third straight Republican nomination, it will make clear the reality

that we're going to have Biden beat Trump a contest that many Americans would prefer not to have.

And it will be an election foreshadowed by the 2020 election because Donald Trump is running for office, running to get back the presidency on the

premise that he was illegally ejected from the White House the last time which of course is false. Then on Thursday, and another momentous

development, the President will deliver his annual State of the Union address in the House of Representatives on primetime.

He is under enormous pressure because there is great skepticism which is revealed in polls and anecdotally among marry American voters that at the

age of 81, he's fit and able to serve fully a second term. There was a poll out by the Wall Street Journal the weekend and also by the New York Times,

which showed majorities of Biden's own voters question his fitness. So, he's under huge pressure, I think to put in a performance of vigor and

energy on Thursday night.

So, all of these things that the court ruling Super Tuesday, State of the Union on Thursday, are really crystallizing a critical moment in American

politics this week.

ANDERSON: Having you to provide insight and analysis is always extremely valuable. Steven Collinson in the house. Thank you. We are back after a

very quick break. Stay with us.



ANDERSON: Welcome back. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD with me Becky Anderson. Time in Abu Dhabi is 25 minutes to 8:00. It is 10:35 a.m. Eastern

Time and we are following breaking news. The U.S. Supreme Court has just issued its unanimous ruling that Donald Trump can appear on the ballots in

Colorado. That state had attempted to remove the former president based on the theory that he was involved in an insurrection on January the 6th,


And that the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution effectively prohibited insurrectionists from holding federal office. Well, the court's ruling

comes just a day before Colorado voters head to the polls in the state's presidential primary part of what is known as Super Tuesday in the United


Jessica Schneider is in Washington. You have been reading the ruling and the individual comments from the justices involved. Jessica, what stands

out most to you?

SCHNEIDER: Well, what's standing out now, Becky is about a half hour after this ruling has been released. We're seeing a flood of comments, including

from the former president. He just released on Truth Social, his own social media platform. He said big win for America. So of course, the former

president celebrating one day before Super Tuesday as we're heading -- head first into the general election.

We're also seeing a slew of other officials, sort of with the -- with the attitude. Well, now voters can go to the polls tomorrow, and be certain

that their vote will count. In particular if they vote for Donald Trump in any of these Super Tuesday states, which includes Colorado and Maine, two

of the states whose courts had said that Trump should be taken off the ballot but of course he will remain on the ballot.

Interestingly, the Secretary of State in Colorado, Jena Griswold. She issued a somewhat lengthy comment on social media saying that she was

disappointed by this ruling. And then putting it this way saying Colorado should be able to bar oath breaking insurrectionists from our ballot. So,

you can see even though the Supreme Court has effectively settled this issue that no state will be able to exclude Donald Trump or other federal

officials from their ballots in the years ahead, there's still some anger about obviously, the belief that Donald Trump played a role in the January

6 Capitol attack.

And the Secretary of State in Colorado expressing that dismay as to the ruling here because remember, the lower courts in Colorado as well as

Maine, they had said that Donald Trump should be taken off the ballot and notably in particular, Becky in Colorado, the Supreme Court in Colorado

went as far to say that January 6 was an insurrection that Donald Trump engaged in insurrection and that because of that, they had the power to

take him off the ballot.

Notably, the Supreme Court doesn't address any of those issues in this ruling. They don't address whether it was an insurrection. They don't

address whether Donald Trump engaged insurrection, only saying that states do not have the power to remove federal officials under the 14th Amendment

section three. So, a notable ruling today. But of course, Becky, as we've said, this isn't the last time the Supreme Court will be weighing in

relating -- related to the former president.

We also have the issue of whether he's immune from criminal prosecution. That will be addressed in late April with the decision to come sometime

after them -- after then. So, we remain in somewhat while this issue is settled, there are other sticky issues that could potentially affect even

inadvertently, the general election coming up in November.

ANDERSON: Ultimately, Donald Trump or any official and that's part of this ruling, isn't it? You know, their eligibility to be on a ballot is the

exclusive right of Congress or at least it's Congress's right, ultimately, to decide on a case to convict. That's the point here, isn't it?


SCHNEIDER: Yes. And what's interesting is all nine justices agreed that Donald Trump should not be taken off the ballot. They disagree though in

whose ultimate decision it might be to enforce section three of the 14th Amendment. Five of the justices said that this is up to Congress to enact

some sort of federal legislation detailing when and how someone might be taken off the ballot because of this insurrectionists clause.

Four of the justices, including Amy Coney Barrett said that we shouldn't be deciding this issue. You know, we don't agree. We should -- this case

should be decided very narrowly. So yes, the majority opinion will rule here and they said that this is up to Congress to enforce this particular

provision, not necessarily up to the courts here. So that yes, that was another layer of this decision decided a bit more narrowly though.

ANDERSON: This was a unanimous decision. All nine ruling in favor of the former president. Thank you, Jessica.

We understand we will hear from former President Donald Trump soon from his home in Mar-a-Lago in Florida. And we'll bring you those remarks live when

they happen.

Also, just in the last few minutes, the White House and the Biden campaign have declined to weigh in on today's ruling. Let's bring in CNN's Marshall

Cohen. He joins us from Washington, D.C. And Marshall, any surprise on your part that the White House and the Biden administration isn't prepared to

weigh in at this point?

MARSHALL COHEN, CNN REPORTER: Not really. It's consistent with what they've done throughout this entire litigation. They have not been too vocal. They

have not served as cheerleaders promoting these cases. They were not involved in these cases. They did not bring these cases. So, there -- they

have pursued some separation there. But for his part, President Biden has previously said that he personally believes that Donald Trump isn't


And that he also thinks that Donald Trump supported the insurrection on January 6, which of course could have paved the way for his

disqualification. The 14th Amendment says that any office holder or anyone who takes an oath to support the Constitution and then engages in an

insurrection is disqualified from office. So, they're sort of keeping their distance from this today. And obviously, the voters will get to weigh in on

this matter.

But President Biden has put democracy in the center of his campaign in many ways. And this is part of that. You know, we are talking today about

whether or not Donald Trump is an insurrectionist. And that feeds the narrative that the Biden campaign has pursued, that this is an election

about democracy, protecting democracy. And, you know, going forward between now and November, it will be up to President Biden to convince the voters

that that is a serious threat. It's not going to be the Supreme Court taking him off the ballot.

ANDERSON: Good to have you, sir. Thank you. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson. We will be back with more on this breaking

story in a moment. Stay with us.



ANDERSON: All right. Welcome back. We are following breaking news this hour. A big win for Donald Trump. The U.S. Supreme Court has issued a

unanimous ruling that the former president can appear on the ballot in Colorado. That comes just a day before voters then head to the polls in the

state's presidential primary. And we've just heard from the Colorado Secretary of State who issued a statement saying she is disappointed.

And she went on to say Colorado should be able to bar oath breaking insurrectionists from our ballots. CNN Legal Analyst Jennifer Rodgers joins

us now. Those the words of the -- of the super -- of the Colorado Supreme Court. The highest court though in the land has ruled Donald Trump is

eligible to run. Your reaction.

JENNIFER RODGERS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, it's a really interesting opinion, Becky, in part because no one saw this coming. No one predicted

that this would be the reasoning of the Supreme Court, even though most legal observers thought that they would overturn and then it might be

unanimous. This reasoning was not on anybody's radar. So, it's interesting that they went off of the grid, right?

They didn't take up any of the arguments that the parties had made. Instead, they kind of created their own basis. And that makes the decision

somewhat suspects to be honest on the merits. I mean, they have said that this section requires congressional action for federal officers. That's not

anywhere in the text of the section. So, people who are kind of strictly looking at does this decision, make sense on its face are kind of

scratching their heads right now. So that was my first impression.

ANDERSON: Part of the ruling said this about the power to take a candidate off the ballot, "the text of the 14th Amendment on its face does not

affirmatively delegate such a power to the states. The terms of the amendment, speak only to enforcement by Congress, which enjoys power to

enforce the amendment through legislation."

And you're right to point out that as you describe it, the justices have gone off grid here. So, how would this go back to Congress is one question

I'm sure our viewers have.

RODGERS: Yes. Well, this is a really interesting aspect because, of course, four justices, the three liberal justices and Amy Coney Barrett said that

the court went further than it had to, and it did, it went further than it had you by saying that Congress had to speak and only Congress could speak.

There couldn't be any other federal enforcement mechanisms like the courts. And so, what could happen actually, if Donald Trump is reelected?

Congress could act to remove him as an insurrectionist and not allow him to take office. And the other thing that the court did, which is kind of

raising some eyebrows, they reserved for themselves the right to be a check on that, to have the last word. In other words, they said that what

Congress does has to be proportional. And so, if Congress removed Donald Trump and said, OK, he won the election but he can't hold office, because

he's an insurrectionist, the Supreme Court has now in this opinion reserved, its own right to go in and say, well, actually, we're now going

to take back what Congress did, even though we're the ones who said that they're the ones that have to speak on this provision.

So, they've kind of kept all this power for themselves which is another reason that those four justices objected to that part of the holding.

ANDERSON: Fascinating. It's good to have you. Thank you very much indeed. We are back after this quick break. Stay with us.



ANDERSON: Donald Trump says today's Supreme Court ruling is a "big win for the United States." And we expect to hear from the former president soon

and we will bring you those remarks from his Mar-a-Lago when they happen. In a unanimous ruling, the court said Trump can remain on the ballot for

the Republican presidential primary in Colorado. The court struck down and attempt to keep him from running for allegedly taking part in an


CNN Legal Analyst Norman Eisen joins us now. Normally, in her opinion, Justice Amy Coney Barrett underscored the unanimity of the decision. And I

quote her here. "This politically charged issue in the volatile season of a presidential election case." How significant will it be to the American

people that this was a unanimous decision?

NORMAN EISEN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: It will be significant that the decision was unanimous in two regards. First, because it establishes that the road

to disqualification of insurrectionist candidates for president or other federal offices runs through the United States Congress. That's something

that I and others had pointed to in advance as one of the most likely off ramps here. So, in that regard, very important.

But there's a second extremely important unanimous aspect of this opinion that's not being noticed, Becky. They did not explicitly deny the lower

court findings that Donald Trump was an insurrectionist. Multiple fact finders have reached that conclusion. Indeed, if you look at the evidence,

the January 6 committee, Colorado, Maine, Illinois have all found that and that was not expressly overturned.

And indeed, the three democratic justices pointed to it in their concurrence. So, in a sense, they have left the question open for the

criminal authorities and for the American people. What to do about Donald Trump's allegedly criminal conduct?

ANDERSON: And we just get our view is very briefly what the Colorado's Secretary of State said issuing a statement saying that she is

disappointed. She went on to say, Colorado should be able to bar oath breaking insurrectionists from our ballot. Your point is well taken, sir.

It's good to have you in a -- at an important day. Step back, ultimately at this point for our international viewers who may not be as, you know, well

imbued in the minutiae of what is going on at present.

Ultimately, on the issue of eligibility Donald Trump has now been cleared to run for president. If indeed that is what the Republican voters want

from him, correct?

EISEN: That's correct. And it's clear that he's going to be successful by all odds. He's accumulated already a daunting delegate lead Super Tuesday.

Well, according to all the polls deliver more delegates. One of the curious aspects of this decision is that they waited until the day before Super

Tuesday to drop it. It puts the wind in Donald Trump's sails. He's already said it's a win. We'll hear a lot more from him.


Why do that in the 24 hours before Super Tuesday in the media cycle around Super Tuesday? I would not have done that. Feels too political.

ANDERSON: You could argue that there was a responsibility by the court to do that. Otherwise, those who may have voted for him Tuesday would be

disenfranchise if indeed the ruling had not come in his favor surely. Isn't there an argument there?

EISEN: There -- that is an argument for having released this decision last week or the week before. The timing of the Supreme Court is now almost as

important here in the United States as the substance of the decisions. And of course, the place where this will really count if they -- Becky, if they

really believe that, they'll move fast on the immunity case because Americans also want to know, did Donald Trump commit legend crimes and can

we get that case to trial just as Kansas Supreme Court can move quickly here, will they move quickly there? Another very --


ANDERSON: All right.

EISEN: -- question but I would have done this last week.

ANDERSON: Thank you, sir. That's it for CONNECT THE WORLD. Stay with CNN.