George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley on Thursday criticized Colorado lawyer Jason Murray’s performance in his argument to remove former President Donald Trump from the ballot in front of the Supreme Court.
The Colorado Supreme Court ruled in a 4-3 decision in December to eliminate Trump from the state’s ballot for the 2024 election under the 14th Amendment’s Section 3 “insurrectionist” clause.
Murray argued on behalf of Colorado but did not do a convincing job answering challenging questions, Turley asserted on Fox News’ “America Reports.”
“It was a very interesting argument to listen to. It was a very difficult argument for Jason Murray who took the brunt of the questions, and he was running the gauntlet,” Turley said.
“Justices were lining up to hit him with very tough questions. But what was fascinating was how many of them came from the left of the court.
“The most interesting was Justice [Ketanji Brown] Jackson.”
“What was really surprising is that Murray did not have much of an answer for this parade of horribles as they pushed him to the edges,” he added later in the discussion.
“They pushed him towards the end of the map.
“He had a real hard time and in some cases he made some small concessions that I think will be repeated in the opinion.”
The Supreme Court may reach a unanimous or near-unanimous decision as both liberal and conservative justices posed tough questions to Murray, Turley asserted.
For instance, liberal Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan pressed Murray on whether a state should have the power to remove a national candidate from the ballot under the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
“Maybe put most boldly, I think that the question that you have to confront is why a single state should decide who gets to be president of the United States,” Kagan said.
“In other words, this question of whether a former president is disqualified for insurrection to be president again …
“Just say it, it sounds awfully national to me. So whatever means there are to enforce it would suggest that they have to be federal, national means.”
“If you weren’t from Colorado and you were from Wisconsin or you were from Michigan, and … what the Michigan secretary of state did is going to make the difference between whether candidate A is elected or candidate B is elected, that seems quite extraordinary, doesn’t it?” Kagan asked.