Washington, D.C. – In a surprising turn of events, not a single sitting Democratic member of Congress, governor, state attorney general, or secretary of state has filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court advocating for the removal of former President Donald Trump from the ballot. This absence of support from the Democratic party comes as Republicans flood the court with briefs in support of Trump, creating an asymmetrical response to this legal and political issue.
The lack of Democratic participation in this case raises questions about the party’s strategy in engaging with Trump’s legal troubles. While Democrats have historically grappled with how to approach Trump’s legal issues, their comparative silence on this particular matter is a notable departure from the Republican eagerness to jump into the fray.
Some Democrats have expressed reluctance to engage, emphasizing a desire to avoid politicizing the legal process. Among them is Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), who stated that while there are “legitimate issues” with Trump being on the ballot, the decision should ultimately be deferred to individual states. President Joe Biden himself has demurred when asked about the challenges, and the Department of Justice has notably refrained from weighing in on the case.
One Democratic official who did wade into the legal fight was Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows, who barred Trump from the ballot in her state under the 14th Amendment. However, her decision was paused by a state court, and she did not file a brief to weigh in on the Supreme Court case.
Overall, the absence of Democratic officials from the legal process has been conspicuous, with only a few officials making statements or taking action. This contrast to the Republican engagement with the case highlights the asymmetry in the response to Trump’s legal battles.