WASHINGTON - Donald Trump cannot be banned from running for president and will appear on the ballot in Tuesday’s Colorado primary, America’s highest court has ruled.

The Supreme Court ruling is a victory for the former president who is expected to sew up the Republican nomination during the Super Tuesday contest.

While Monday’s ruling is specific to Colorado, it will set a precedent for other states including Illinois and Maine which also barred him from primary ballots.

Last year, Mr Trump was ruled ineligible by the Colorado Supreme Court for his alleged encouragement of the Jan 6 riot at the Capitol in 2021 and efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

Mr Trump appealed the ruling on Jan 3 and the court heard arguments last month.

The Colorado Republican Party had requested that the Supreme Court rule before Tuesday’s primary contest.

Monday’s decision was largely expected after both Republican and Democrat judges expressed concern about individual states having the power to decide the presidential election during last month’s two-hour court session.

During the hearing, Chief Justice John Robert, a Republican, said if the Colorado decision is upheld, other states will proceed with disqualification proceedings of their own for either Democratic or Republican candidates

“And it will come down to just a handful of states that are going to decide the presidential election. That’s a pretty daunting consequence,” he added.

Mr Trump did not attend the session, but told reporters he had listened to the hearing and thought “it was a very beautiful process” and he thought his team’s “arguments were very, very strong”.

Anti-Trump forces have sought to disqualify him in more than two dozen other states – a mostly unsuccessful effort – over the Capitol attack.