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When the news broke late Friday afternoon that the Supreme Court would take up Donald Trump’s appeal of a decision barring him from Colorado’s ballot, I was on my way out to dinner. Before I even sat down at the restaurant, I knew just what to do: Interview scholar Derek Muller about the case.

Muller is an election law expert at University of Notre Dame’s law school and a sought-after source for journalists across the country who want help understanding the intricacies of that once less-prominent field of law. I knew I had to secure his help quickly and sent him an email as soon as I had ordered dinner. Between the cabbage salad and the braised eggplant, I heard back from Muller. He would talk with me.

Muller’s great skill is that he manages to be both a deeply informed scholar and a plain-spoken kind of guy who doesn’t engage in hyperbole. So I felt comfortable asking him a blunt question: On a scale of 1 to 10, how big is this? It’s “monumental for several reasons,” answered Muller. If Muller says it’s “monumental,” that means it’s really big.

As many other states contemplate whether Trump should appear on the ballot, a ruling from the Supreme Court, said Muller, could put to rest voter uncertainty. He said primary and caucus voters right now are asking, “Am I wasting my vote? Is this actually an ineligible candidate? Should I be voting for somebody else?”

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Naomi Schalit

Senior Editor, Politics + Democracy

The US Supreme Court. Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

US Supreme Court decision on Trump-Colorado ballot case ‘monumental’ for democracy itself, not just 2024 presidential election

Derek T. Muller, University of Notre Dame

The US Supreme Court faces a case with huge repercussions for the 2024 presidential election – and American democracy. An election law scholar explains why.

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