Colorado Decision Against Trump: A Grotesque Use Of Lawfare
Colorado Decision Against Trump: A Grotesque Use Of Lawfare
In a historic decision Tuesday, the Colorado Supreme Court barred Donald Trump from running in the state’s presidential primary after determining that he had engaged in insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021.
The 4-3 ruling marked the first time a court has kept a presidential candidate off the ballot under an 1868 provision of the Constitution that prevents insurrectionists from holding office. The ruling comes as courts consider similar cases in other states.
Oh, it’s historic alright. Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment that the court used is as follows:
No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any state, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any state legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any state, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.
The four judges, who were SO certain of their premise that they didn’t sign their names to it, decided that the 14th was not clearly written. Via Legal Insurrection:
If the language is clear and unambiguous, then we enforce it as written, and we need not turn to other tools of construction. However, if the provision’s language is reasonably susceptible of multiple interpretations, then it is ambiguous, and we may consider “the textual, structural, and historical evidence put forward by the parties,” and we will construe the provision “in light of the objective sought to be achieved and the mischief to be avoided.”
Read the 14th Amendment again. Please point out the ambiguities in that text, I’ll wait. Oh, you can’t find any? Well, how about that?
What is also grotesque about this lawfare is that the Colorado Supreme Court was so certain of their ruling that they, wait for it… STAYED the implementation of it until January 4. Why? So any appeals, would head to the United States Supreme Court.
Three judges dissented:
Chief Justice John Boatright argued that removing Trump from the ballot would require “an insurrection-related conviction.” Trump was impeached by the House for his role in the Jan. 6 attack, but he was acquitted by the Senate. And while he is facing a slew of federal and state criminal charges stemming from his efforts to subvert the election, he has never been criminally charged with committing or inciting an insurrection.
Justice Carlos Samour echoed Boatright’s concerns but went further, contending that the court was depriving Trump of due process.
“Even if we are convinced that a candidate committed horrible acts in the past — dare I say, engaged in insurrection — there must be procedural due process before we can declare that individual disqualified from holding public office,” he wrote.
Justice Maria Berkenkotter also dissented, arguing that Colorado courts don’t have the authority to consider the question presented by those challenging Trump.
That’s correct. Trump was NEVER convicted of insurrection. Furthermore, Justice Samour is also correct in that this activist ruling deprives Trump, or anyone else for that matter, of our Constitutional right to DUE PROCESS.
Keep in mind, the other lawsuits, filed for the very same reasons, completely failed. As I wrote in early November, even liberal Minnesota kicked that lawsuit to the curb. Yet, activist judges here in Colorado have decided that it is up to THEM and not us to decide who we can and cannot vote for. This is grotesque lawfare on steroids. Using legal measures to intimidate or stop an opponent from being on the ballot goes against everything this Republic stands for.
But, you see, this is all about ‘protecting our democracy.’ Uh huh. Remember all the purple fingers in Iraq? They finally had the right to vote AND the ability to CHOOSE who they wanted to vote for. Yet here in Colorado, judges told us all yesterday that they want to make sure we DON’T have that choice. When the President of El Salvador is calling us out, you know this was a bad move for us on the international stage.
Every State Department official in Foggy Bottom should eternally hang their heads in shame at the utter farce of our “democracy promotion” programs.— Mike Benz (@MikeBenzCyber) December 20, 2023
I’m glad world leaders are calling it out. We have become every single thing we sanction. https://t.co/qEjwJWwvxq
As Biden collapses in the polls, and Trump rises, Democrats are going to resort to increasingly desperate — and anti-democratic — means to ensure Trump can't run, all while they insist that only they are the Guardians of Democracy.— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) December 20, 2023
This is playing with real fire: https://t.co/UFdoju77UW
What happens when it’s weaponized against someone you DO like?
The Colorado Supreme Court has handed down the most anti-democratic opinion in decades. Yet, these justices barred voters from being to vote for their preferred candidate in the name of democracy. It is like burning down a house in the name of fire safety. https://t.co/mmNsNPhSr2— Jonathan Turley (@JonathanTurley) December 20, 2023
Folks, whether you like Donald Trump or not, or plan to vote for or against him, this decision by a panel of judges was wrong. They kicked due process to the curb. Trump was never tried for treason and he was acquitted by the Senate regarding insurrection. Yet this panel of judges essentially declared him guilty in order to get to the ruling they wanted.
That’s not LAW. That is politics. It is moves like that that led to the Boston Tea Party and eventually our American Revolution. Those four Colorado Supreme Court judges trampled all over our Constitution in order to ‘get Trump.’
There’s nothing to cheer about here. Nothing.
Feature Photo Credit: Adobe Stock standard license, cropped