Gilder Lehrman Center Director David W. Blight and Yale Law School’s John Fabian Witt File SCOTUS Amicus Brief

January 31, 2024

Oral arguments for the US Supreme Court case Trump v. Anderson are scheduled for February 8, 2024. At issue is the Colorado Supreme Court order excluding former President Donald Trump from the 2024 presidential primary ballot in the state of Colorado. Two Yale professors, David W. Blight and Professor John Fabian Witt, joined Harvard professors Jill Lepore and Drew Gilpin Faust in submitting an Amici Curiae brief to the United States Supreme Court regarding this case. The brief by these four distinguished scholars provides historical support for the Supreme Court of Colorado’s decision that Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution disqualifies former President Donald Trump from holding office and therefore from appearing on the ballot for the state’s upcoming Republican primary election. Section 3 prohibits officers of the United States who have previously taken an oath to support the U.S. Constitution from holding “any office … under the United States” if they have “engaged in insurrection.”

David W. Blight is Sterling Professor of History at Yale and the Director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at the Yale MacMillan Center. John Fabian Witt is the Allen H. Duffy Class of 1960 Professor of Law at Yale Law School. Jill Lepore is the David Woods Kemper ’41 Professor of History at Harvard University and Drew Gilpin Faust is President Emerita of Harvard University and the Arthur Kingsley Porter University Professor.

The brief is available for download here:

For an interview with David Blight and Jill Lepore on NPR’s Morning Edition (January 31, 2024), visit:

For more about this and other historical briefs in support of the Colorado Supreme Court’s arguments, see Jamelle Bouie’s New York Times column (January 30, 2024), “If It Walks Like an Insurrection and Talks Like an Insurrection …”: