"Structural Logics of Presidential Disqualification," Aziz Huq (University of Chicago)

Sep 12, 2024, 4:30 pm6:00 pm
Open to Princeton University ID Holders and Other Academic Affiliates


Event Description

When and how should presidential candidates be disqualified as “insurrectionists”? And how does that legal regime interact with the president’s immunity from criminal prosecution?  On March 4, 2024, a unanimous bench of the U.S. Supreme Court reversed a Colorado Supreme Court ruling removing former President Donald Trump from the state’s primary ballot as an oath-breaking insurrectionist under Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment. 

Foreshadowed by a tendentiously one-sided oral argument and a pervasive prejudgment by the chatting classes the actual result of Trump v. Anderson was a ‘dog bites man’ moment of sorts. Few were surprised that Trump would end up on Colorado’s primary ballot or that the Court would resolve the case in a manner precluding other States from exercising Section Three in their nominating contests. This paper takes up the actual reasons offered by the Supreme Court for shutting down both disqualification and (largely) criminal prosecution of presidents.  It closely considers the reasoning of Trump v. Anderson in particular, and reflects on what that decision bodes for American democracy.

Speaker Bio

Aziz Huq is the Frank and Bernice J. Professor at the University of Chicago Law School and associate professor in the sociology department. His books include How to Save a Constitutional Democracy (2018, with Tom Ginsburg), The Collapse of Constitutional Remedies (2021), and The Rule of Law: A Very Short Introduction (forthcoming 2024)