Home Politics Scott Perry’s lawyer welcomes SCOTUS 14th Amendment ruling

Scott Perry’s lawyer welcomes SCOTUS 14th Amendment ruling


Monday’s Supreme Court decision had impacts beyond the race for the White House. One key example: Central Pennsylvania voters will most likely see Scott Perry on their ballots this November.

The ruling that individual states can’t disqualify former President Donald Trump from the ballot extends to other federal offices, too. And that should clear Perry, a Pennsylvania Republican, of litigation attempting to have him thrown off the ballot for his role in trying to overturn the 2020 election.

“There’s no basis on which that suit can survive in light of this opinion,” Joshua Voss, Perry’s lead lawyer in the case, said after the Supreme Court ruling. “This should be the final word.”

Monday’s ruling effectively ended efforts that bubbled up in dozens of states to have Trump disqualified from the presidency for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol. Those efforts relied on an interpretation of the “insurrection clause” of the 14th Amendment that says people who engaged in insurrection after taking an oath to support the Constitution are barred from future office.

The Colorado Supreme Court had agreed with that argument, saying Trump was ineligible for the presidency; the Maine secretary of state and a state judge in Illinois followed suit.

But Trump was not the only elected official involved in the events of Jan. 6, and attention soon turned to members of Congress. In January, Gene Stilp, a Democratic activist, sued Perry and Pennsylvania Secretary of State Al Schmidt, saying Perry is ineligible for office and should be removed from the ballot.

On Monday, the Supreme Court ruled that states don’t have the power to make that decision for federal offices.

“We conclude that States may disqualify persons holding or attempting to hold state office,” the court’s unsigned majority opinion reads. “But States have no power under the Constitution to enforce [the insurrection clause] with respect to federal offices, especially the Presidency.”

Only Congress has that power, the court said, effectively shutting down not only the challenges to Trump’s eligibility but challenges against others as well, which election law experts said should apply to Perry.

“If it’s a federal office, like member of Congress, then no role for state courts,” said Ned Foley, an Ohio State University constitutional law professor.

The lawsuit against Perry was brought in state court. Schmidt, a Republican working in the administration of Democratic Gov. Josh Shapiro, had opposed the suit, saying he did not have the power to remove Perry.

Perry hasn’t been charged with any crime regarding the Jan. 6 attack or other 2020 efforts, and Voss welcomed Monday’s ruling as clearing the path for Perry to be on the ballot as he runs for reelection.

“We are hopeful that it’ll be withdrawn soon,” he said of the lawsuit. “And if not, we will certainly move to make that happen.”

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