Donald Trump kicked off Colorado primary ballot and Social Security COLA: Morning Rundown

What’s next after the bombshell ruling to kick Donald Trump off Colorado’s primary ballot. Chuck Todd shares his ideas for next year — political and not. And what to know about the Social Security cost-of-living adjustment for 2024. Here’s what to know today.

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Supreme Court thrust into a ‘once-in-a-lifetime confluence’ of Trump’s legal woes

The Colorado Supreme Court’s bombshell ruling yesterday to leave former President Donald Trump off the state’s primary ballot next year marks the first time a little-known provision in the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution was successfully used. It didn’t take long for Trump’s campaign to signal that they’d be appealing the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.

If and when that appeal comes, the court will have to decide whether Trump is eligible to run for president again. That’s on top of a looming decision on whether Trump has presidential immunity for alleged criminal acts he committed while in office — related to the federal election interference case against him. 

The two cases are a “once-in-a-generation, perhaps once-in-a-lifetime confluence of events where the court confronts a series of very basic and very important issues relevant to self-government — the biggest since the Watergate era,” said John Elwood, a Washington lawyer who has argued in front of the Supreme Court. 

The court now must make decisions quickly. The Colorado primary ballot deadline is early next month. With little time for the Supreme Court to do anything substantive before then, it remains reasonably likely that Trump will be on the ballot for the state’s March 5 primary while litigation continues. On the presidential immunity question, the court’s response to special counsel Jack Smith’s request to circumvent the normal appeals process is due today.

A third Supreme Court case is also lurking in the background that could affect Trump’s Washington prosecution. Politics reporter Lawrence Hurley explains the various factors at play.

More on the Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling:

Chuck Todd: 10 big ideas for 2024 that won’t happen

Should President Joe Biden drop out of the race? Should the Republican Party nominate a candidate other than Donald Trump. If you ask Chuck Todd, NBC News’ chief political analyst, the answer to both of those questions is yes. Todd has eight other ideas for 2024, with topics ranging from America’s public education system and the United Nations, to football and music festivals. But “I’m not expecting any of my proclamations or ideas to come true,” Todd writes in an analysis.

Read the full analysis here, where Todd explains his ideas in more detail — and why he doubts they’d become reality.

Hamas leader in Egypt to discuss hostage release and cease-fire deal

Hamas’ political leader Ismail Haniyeh is in Egypt to hold talks with officials in the country about hostages and a possible cease-fire. This comes after Israeli President Isaac Herzog yesterday indicated that the country was willing to engage with another humanitarian pause. Egypt, along with Qatar — where Haniyeh is believed to be based — helped mediate a weeklong cease-fire last month which saw Hamas release over 100 hostages in exchange for Israel’s release of 240 Palestinian prisoners.

Follow live updates here. 

Lava flow slows, but Icelandic towns not in the clear yet

Local residents watch smoke billow from a volcanic eruption on the Reykjanes peninsula on Tuesday.Kristin Elisabet Gunnarsdottir / AFP – Getty Images

The Icelandic town of Grindavík may be spared the damage from a volcanic eruption on the island’s Reykjanes Peninsula. The Icelandic Meteorological Office said yesterday that the intensity of the eruption was decreasing and that lava appeared to be flowing away from the town. But officials say it’s too soon to tell what the slowdown really means. The volcanic plume is now drifting east, with volcanic ashes and gas noticeable around the capital city of Reykjavik. 

Social Security cost-of-living adjustments are coming

Starting in January, the estimated average monthly retirement benefit will increase to $1,907 from $1,848. That’s a 3.2% increase from this year, but not all recipients will see an immediate increase. The benefit kicks in on a staggered, weekly basis, according to the recipient’s date of birth. Despite the 2024 increase, on top of an 8.7% increase this year, many Americans on fixed incomes will continue to struggle financially even as inflation slows, experts and economists say. Here’s what else to know about the benefit.

Today’s Talker: A movie based on Mary Kay Letourneau has ignited…

…discussions about how race and class influenced tabloid coverage of the scandal more than two decades ago. The Netflix movie “May December” loosely adapts reported facts from 35-year-old Letourneau’s rape of a 13-year-old student, Vili Fualauu. The two later got married and raised two children together. Experts look back at the media coverage at the time and how the scandal is perceived today.

Julianne Moore puts her head on  Charles Melton's shoulder.
Julianne Moore as Gracie Atherton-Yoo and Charles Melton as Joe in a scene from “May December.”Netflix

Politics in Brief

Trump’s rhetoric: Some Republicans — including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Sen. Susan Collins and presidential candidate Chris Christie — are blasting Donald Trump over his comments that immigrants coming to the U.S. are “poisoning the blood of our country.” And in an interview with MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell, Vice President Kamala Harris said people were “rightly” comparing those comments to Adolf Hitler. At campaign event yesterday in Iowa, Trump doubled down on his comments and said he “never read Mein Kampf,” Hitler’s manifesto.

U.S.-China relations: Chinese President Xi Jinping bluntly told President Joe Biden during their recent summit in San Francisco that Beijing will reunify Taiwan with mainland China, three current and former U.S. officials said.

Military confirmations: The Senate unanimously confirmed the 11 remaining service members whose promotions had been held up by Sen. Tommy Tuberville.

Texas border crossing law: Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador slammed Texas Gov. Greg Abbott for signing a law that allows peace officers to arrest people they think entered the country illegally, accusing Abbott of wanting to be the GOP nominee for vice president.

Staff Pick: The Biden coalition fractures

Young voters broke heavily for Joe Biden in 2020 to help him defeat Donald Trump. But polls show a slice of them aren’t ready to support him in 2024. We spoke to a number of skeptical former Biden backers about their reasoning — and what, if anything, Biden could do to bring them back into the fold. — Scott Bland, senior politics editor

 In Case You Missed It 

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