It’s a slap in the face to the tens of millions of Trump supporters.
It’s being cheered by Democrats, who bill themselves as the pro-democracy party, yet are supporting an anti-democratic act that deprives voters of the right to choose.
And the whole thing may fizzle anyway.
The Colorado Supreme Court ruling to kick Donald Trump off the state’s primary ballot is fueling a political uproar. The Supreme Court has two weeks to act on an appeal, and while its 6-3 conservative majority has repeatedly ruled against Trump on 2020 election matters, I’d be stunned if it didn’t overturn this decision.
In its 4-3 ruling, the Colorado court took pains to say this was not a partisan move – which belies the fact that every member is a Democrat.
Even Trump’s rivals – Nikki Haley, Ron DeSantis and Chris Christie – are saying they want to beat the former president but that shouldn’t be up to a bunch of justices.
Several other states have tried this maneuver, based on the 14th Amendment, but ultimately rejected it. The blue state of Colorado is the first.
Imagine the reaction if a state court had barred President Biden from the ballot based on some legal theory about his conduct in office. The liberals and the media would be going nuclear, and conservatives would be the ones cheering the court. When the story broke late Tuesday, MSNBC and its legal analysts practically broke out the champagne. Many news outlets are calling the ruling “historic,” which it is, but that’s what you say when you want to indicate approval.
And it doesn’t help that the Colorado lawsuit was filed by the liberal group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). That sends a signal of attempting to stop Trump by any means necessary. And it provides ammo for those who say the left has tried every possible method, from the four indictments to the accusations of Hitler-like language, to knock him out.
CREW’s president was crowing about the “spectacular” ruling on Chris Hayes’ MSNBC show.
The irony is that Trump doesn’t need Colorado to win the nomination, he’s on track to accumulate enough delegates to win by next March. (The decision doesn’t mention the general election.)
The state court ruling says that under Section 3 of the post-Civil War 14th Amendment, any office holder who engages in insurrection after taking an oath to defend the Constitution is disqualified from holding public office again.
A lower court had ruled that Trump engaged in insurrection with his actions leading up to the Jan. 6 riot but that the section did not apply to presidents. Colorado’s highest court reversed the last part of the decision.
“We do not reach these conclusions lightly,” the majority wrote. “We are mindful of the magnitude and weight of the questions now before us. We are likewise mindful of our solemn duty to apply the law, without fear or favor, and without being swayed by public reaction to the decisions that the law mandates we reach.”
What’s striking is that the three justices who dissented did not challenge Trump’s involvement in an insurrection or that the amendment applied to him, but argued on procedural grounds that the lower court exceeded its authority.
“Unsurprisingly,” a campaign spokesman said, “the all-Democrat appointed Colorado Supreme Court has ruled against President Trump, supporting a Soros-funded, left-wing group’s scheme to interfere in an election on behalf of Crooked Joe Biden by removing President Trump’s name from the ballot and eliminating the rights of Colorado voters to vote for the candidate of their choice.”
In a gaggle on Air Force One, Biden wouldn’t comment on the court’s action but said this: “It’s self-evident. You saw it all. Now whether the 14th Amendment applies, I’ll let the court make that decision. But he certainly supported an insurrection. No question about it. None. Zero.” As usual, though, he said this off-camera.
If the Colorado ruling was somehow allowed to stand, there would be a stampede of blue states rushing to disqualify Donald Trump. But that seems like a long shot.
Footnote: In a New York Times/Siena College poll, 62 percent of Republicans say Trump should remain the nominee “even if he is subsequently convicted of a federal crime.”
What’s more, while more than one in five Republicans agree that Trump has committed crimes, Biden is winning only a third of those who believe his rival should be found guilty.