The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a landmark case over whether Colorado can remove former president Donald Trump from the 2024 ballot over claims of “insurrection.” But former Trump attorney Alan Dershowitz was incredibly disappointed in the attorneys for BOTH sides: “These are B-minus performances in an A-plus issue.” Dershowitz joins Glenn to review the biggest takeaways of the day and explain whether he believes Trump has a good chance of staying on the ballot.
TranscriptBelow is a rush transcript that may contain errors\
GLENN: Possibly one of the greatest litigators of our time, Alan Dershowitz.
Harvard law school professor emeritus. Host of The Dershow podcast and author of the book, Get Trump.
Boy, did he not have that one nailed.
That is exactly what's happening today.
Supreme Court, Get Trump.
This one will decide, whether or not, the states can take Donald Trump off the ballot, because apparently, he was in an insurrection, but was never charged.
I don't know what I was listening to last hour. But Alan Dershowitz can make sense of it all.
Alan, welcome to the program.
ALAN: Well, I can't make sense of it. I have rarely seen two less able lawyers argue so important a case.
They have both missed the boat.
Missed the point.
The star of these proceedings, are the justices.
They're the only ones who make good arguments. And they make good arguments on both sides. But they've made the arguments for the litigators. Trump's lawyer. Just dropped the wall.
Made the wrong argument, to the wrong justices. He didn't understand the rule. He didn't understand the issues. And the lawyer for Colorado, the same thing.
ALAN: I mean, these are B-minus performances, in an A-plus issue.
GLENN: How is that possible?
ALAN: It's shocking.
You know what they were like? The lawyers were like the lawyers who advised the presidents of colleges, Harvard and -- for MIT. They were so taken up by kind of legal technicalities, but they didn't see the big issues. And it's shocking to me. That these lawyers, both of whom, are relatively experienced just didn't get it. And they had to -- both of them be rescued by the justices themselves.
GLENN: So what did you get from the justices, on -- on a lean? Any indication where they're going with this?
ALAN: Yeah, I think the leaning is in favor of Trump, despite Trump's lawyer. Not on the ground that Trump's lawyer argued.
But on other grounds. Arguments I've been arguing for a long time.
That only Congress, under Section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment has the authority to implement Section 3. That's the argument that the justices seem to be focused on. That's the argument that I have written about over and over again.
But I gather the lawyers did not read my article. You know, they just argued the wrong provisions in the Constitution.
GLENN: So let me ask you. This is the one thing. And this is coming to you as a layperson that doesn't know squat about the law.
But how can he be taken off for insurrection, when he's got a billion lawsuits, against him. And not one has charged him, with anything like that?
How can you be excluded, for something that nobody has even charged you with officially, in court, let alone proven?
ALAN: To show you how absurd Jason Murray's argument is. He's the lawyer for Colorado.
He said, on January 6th, the minute the president engaged in the insurrection, he did, he was no longer eligible to be president.
So for the last 14 days, of January, between January 6th and January 20th, we had no president, according to that argument. According to that argument, the country was without a president in 14 days. And it's such an absurd argument, the justices, of course, both told me in the meeting. They told me now as we speak.
I tell you, if I had students in my class, that made arguments like this, I think I would suggest divinity school. Business school.
I just don't think these are great lawyer arguments.
And the public deserves great lawyers, making great arguments, in a case as great and as important as this one.
This is such a disappointment from the points of view of advocacy. But it's -- it's been very good, from the point of view of the justices themselves. They have to ask the right questions.
GLENN: What's the ramification of the Supreme Court making too broad of a decision, or getting this wrong?
ALAN: I don't think the court will get it wrong. I think they will make a narrow decision.
They will say absent any Congressional action under Section 5 of the 14th Amendment, this is not self-enforcing.
It wasn't disqualified for being president, on January 6.
You have to have a process. You have to be charged with insurrection.
There has to be some process. That's what I would argue.
And that's what the justices want to argue. But they just -- they didn't do it. They didn't do it.
I want to keep this a little bit short today. Because I want to get back to listening to the argument.
GLENN: Yes, okay.
ALAN: But I think the court will decide in favor of Trump, narrowly on a technical issue, without getting to the issue of whether or not he is disqualified or whether he committed an insurrection or anything like that.
But this is a major disappointment from a guy who has been an advocate for 60 years. And it hurts. Good things about employers.
They were overprepared, technically. Underprepared emotionally.
And politically. And any practical sense of the word. Common sense was missing today from the arguments of both of those lawyers.
GLENN: That is the theme almost of every show. Alan Dershowitz, thank you so much. Host of The Dershow. And get Trump, is his book.
God bless you, Alan. Thank you.