A divided Colorado Supreme Court recently disqualified former President Donald Trump from holding the office of president under the U.S. Constitution insurrection clause. Thus, it would be a “wrongful act” to list him as a candidate on the 2024 presidential primary ballot.
“We conclude that because President Trump is disqualified from holding the office of President under Section Three, it would be a wrongful act under the Election Code for the secretary to list President Trump as a candidate on the presidential primary ballot,” the court’s majority wrote in an unsigned opinion. “Therefore, the secretary may not list President Trump’s name on the 2024 presidential primary ballot, nor may she count any write-in votes cast for him.”
The 4-3 decision spanning 133 pages is currently on hold pending potential U.S. Supreme Court review. The SCOTUS could have the final word, whether in this Colorado case or another one, as challenges have been raised in states across the country against Trump’s eligibility. The ruling also does not apply outside of Colorado.
For left-leaning Hollywood celebrities, “Christmas came early” with the said decision. Star Trek actor George Takei called the Colorado Supreme Court justices “heroes.” Disney’s “Hocus Pocus 2” star Bette Midler said: “Thank you, Colorado!”
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) December 20, 2023
— bettemidler (@BetteMidler) December 19, 2023
Moreover, Rob Reiner, who is producing a documentary about “Christian Nationalism,” called the Colorado ruling a “little sanity” while Netflix star Mia Farrow wrote that Trump deserves to go to jail. “So glad someone has some common sense!” Bravo’s Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi rejoiced. “Let me know when he’s off the planet,” said Ellen Barkin, who seemed to want the former president “dead.”
Let me know when he’s off the planet. https://t.co/3thDnv46TN
— Ellen Barkin (@EllenBarkin) December 19, 2023
According to MSNBC, Section 3 of the 14th Amendment disqualifies from office those who take an oath to support the Constitution and then engage in insurrection. Colorado District Judge Sarah Wallace last month said that Trump engaged in insurrection; however, she said that Section 3 doesn’t apply to presidents, so he can be on the ballot. Both sides challenged the ruling at the state’s high court, arguing their positions to the state justices in the Dec. 6 hearing.
Trump has vowed to “swiftly” appeal to the high court, which could reverse the ruling, a spokesman for his campaign said, setting up a high-stakes showdown over his eligibility to run just as voters in early states begin casting their ballots in the Republican primaries. “The Colorado Supreme Court issued a completely flawed decision tonight and we will swiftly file an appeal to the United States Supreme Court and a concurrent request for a stay of this deeply undemocratic decision,” Steve Cheung, spokesman for the Trump campaign, said in a statement. Trump did not mention the decision during a rally he attended on Tuesday evening in Waterloo, Iowa, but his campaign sent out a fundraising email citing what it called a “tyrannical ruling.” (Related: The ultimate TRUMP CARD: Best way for Donald Trump to stay out of prison is to return to the Oval Office, says law professor.)
2024 election results to depend on SCOTUS
The Supreme Court justices will have to determine quickly if the former president is even eligible to be on the ballot and whether he’s immune to prosecution from special counsel Jack Smith concerning his alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election leading up to the January 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol attack.
According to election law specialist at Loyola Law School Justin Levitt, these are cases that the Supreme Court typically can duck, but that are really presenting themselves as national controversies before the court rather than the court reaching out to grab controversial issues. He told CNN: “There are very few places to duck.”
Trump campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung said in a statement that they are confident that the SCOTUS will quickly rule in their favor and finally put an end to the “unAmerican lawsuits.” The news outlet wrote that if the former POTUS appeals, the justices will have the question of the 14th Amendment’s so-called insurrectionist clause squarely on its desk.
“What’s remarkable about this decision is they’ve addressed every single issue that’s been raised against it, knowing that this was going to go before the U.S. Supreme Court,” Nick Akerman, a former Watergate prosecutor, said on CNN’s “News Central” of the Colorado ruling. “They’re also going to take this issue very seriously because it doesn’t just impact Colorado. It impacts all 50 states. So, this is going to have to be decided by the Supreme Court.”
The said issue is on top of the already blockbuster term where the court will rule on whether a safe and popular abortion drug will be readily available in states where abortion is legal, the scope of the Second Amendment and the future of environmental regulations. All those policy issues will also impact the 2024 ballot box.
Check out Trump.news for more news related to the ongoing legal battles the former president is fighting.
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