Today, the U.S. Supreme Court opened the door for Congress to create an enforcement mechanism for Section 3 of the 14th Amendment in a ruling that Colorado could not bar former President Donald Trump from the state’s primary ballots,. For the sake of our democracy, Congress must seize this opportunity.

As a former member of Congress, I, along with five fellow Republican and unaffiliated plaintiffs, sued to bar Trump from Colorado’s ballot, guided by the oath I took to protect and defend the Constitution. In its decision, the Supreme Court crucially did not absolve Trump of violating his oath of office and engaging in insurrection, even though the former president asked them to do so. The fact that he engaged in insurrection remainsinsurrection remains, as determined by every decision-making body that has substantively examined the facts. We now have clarity on how to enforce Section 3 disqualification, and it lies with Congress.

Anyone who took an oath of office should be alarmed and disgusted by Trump’s abandonment of his own oath. It should be obvious from the results of the multiple legal cases against him and what we witnessed on January 6th, that he is unfit for office.

A Hearing on the Capitol Riot
Members of the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol hold the last public meeting in the Canon House Office Building on Capitol Hill on Dec. 19, 2022.

Jim Lo Scalzo-Pool/Getty Images

Unfortunately, we have yet to see most Republican members of Congress rebuke Trump and his outrageous efforts to keep himself in power—but now, the Supreme Court has put the ball squarely in their court.

Will they fulfill this responsibility? It’s doubtful, as they have repeatedly abdicated their role as ‘representatives’ of the people and defenders of our Constitution since the insurrection! In the days following the attack on the Capitol, Republican leadership was quick to label it “un-American” and a violent insurrection that Trump was responsible for.

Yet, the following weeks and months saw Republican senators voting to acquit Trump, censuring the members of the party who dared attempt to hold Trump accountable, and engaging in spreading conspiracies and misinformation in an attempt to contradict what the American people saw with our own eyes.

Talk is cheap—what counts are actions. Will Congress respect the Supreme Court’s message? Will they fulfill this responsibility? It’s doubtful, given they have abdicated their role as ‘representatives’ of the people and defenders of our Constitution! Talk is cheap, but what counts are actions. Will Congress respect the Supreme Court’s message?

My fellow plaintiffs and I did our jobs as voters by bringing this case, and the courts did theirs by examining the briefs, evidence and testimony and issuing a ruling. With our democracy on the line, itThis is not the time for members of Congress to play politics., it is time for them to step up and do their jobs.

Congress itself was attacked on Jan.uary 6th, 2021. Nonetheless, they failed to convict Trump for his actions on that day, which could have banned him from running for office in the future. Congress has been given one more chance by the Supreme Court to protect our democracy. Will they take it? Or will we witness another Jan. 6th?

Claudine Schneider is a former member of Congress (R-RI); results-driven advocate for climate, women’s rights, and Republican party reform.

The views expressed in this article are the writer’s own.