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Colorado Bars Trump From the Ballot [Updated] (Terminal Case of TDS)


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Power Line

John Hinderaker

December 19, 2023

In a shocking decision, the Colorado Supreme Court held today, in a Per Curiam opinion, with three justices dissenting, that Donald Trump is an “insurrectionist” who is barred by Section 3 of the 14th Amendment from running for the presidency. So, absent some action by the U.S. Supreme Court, which is extremely unlikely, Trump will not be on the Republican primary ballot or, if it comes to that, the general election ballot in Colorado.

Section 3 of the 14th Amendment precluded those who were federal officials before the Civil War, and then served in the Confederacy or its army, from again holding federal office after 1865. I have written that the theory that this provision somehow applies to Donald Trump is idiotic and ahistorical. The January 6 protest, which certainly did get out of hand, was not an “insurrection”–insurrectionists would have remembered to bring at least one firearm–and Trump urged those who were present in Washington that day to go forward and protest peaceably and legally. Not exactly Fort Sumter.

But the Colorado Supreme Court has struck its blow for the Democratic Party:


UPDATE: A number of readers have wondered why I said the Supreme Court is unlikely to intervene. On reflection, that was an offhand comment that was not thoroughly thought through. There were two reasons for it:

First, the Republican majority on the Court is highly reluctant to wade into waters that are seen as political. Ruling in Trump’s favor would use up a large share of the Court’s diminished political capital, and Trump is hardly the person on whom the justices want to expend that precious commodity. On the other hand, the application of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment is a federal question that is squarely presented by this case and may not be easy to duck.

Second, the Court would need to act fast, as the primary season is nearly upon us. Normally, litigating any case in the Supreme Court takes time. I assume the Court would want to hear from a number of parties and would want extensive briefing. On a normal calendar, I don’t think there is enough time for that to happen. On the other hand, the Court can act more quickly if it wants to, and if it is willing to expend, in this case, the necessary political capital. So it could be possible.

A friend who is a very good lawyer writes:


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Colorado Republican Party To Cancel Primary If Trump Kept Off Ballot
Ryan Saavedra
Dec 19, 2023

The Colorado Republican Party said on Tuesday night that if former President Donald Trump was kept of the presidential primary ballot in the state in 2024, the party would cancel the primary altogether.

The statement from the Colorado GOP came after the Colorado Supreme Court removed Trump from the state’s 2024 presidential ballot on Tuesday after ruling that he engaged in an insurrection with his actions on January 6, 2021.

“We will withdraw from the Primary as a Party and convert to a pure caucus system if this is allowed to stand,” the party said in responding to the Court’s ruling.


“Third, some scholars assert Section 3 doesn’t even exist anymore as a constitutional matter after the Amnesty Acts of 1872 and 1898–a matter completely ignored by the court today,” he continued. “Fourth, prior court rulings have held that Section 3 is not self-executing and Congress has never passed any federal law providing for enforcement, meaning that courts such as the Colorado Supreme Court have no legal authority to enforce Section 3.”


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Trump tells Supreme Court not to weigh in on Jack Smith's petition over immunity dispute
Kaelan Deese, Supreme Court Reporter
December 20, 2023

Former President Donald Trump made his pitch to the Supreme Court on Wednesday on why he believes he should be immune to special counsel Jack Smith's indictment alleging he conspired to overturn the 2020 election.

Trump's response was requested by the high court last week after Smith petitioned the justices to settle the immunity dispute, which, so far, has not gone in Trump's favor. The special counsel jumped over the U.S. Appeals Court for the D.C. Circuit in an effort to have the Supreme Court fast-track the dispute to keep a March 4 criminal trial date on schedule.


The crux of Trump's argument on Wednesday was that Smith is seeking to skip the appellate court and jump straight to the Supreme Court after Trump failed to succeed on his immunity claims in the lower district court.

"The Court lacks jurisdiction to grant the petition because the government lacks Article III and prudential standing to appeal from a judgment that is entirely favorable to it. The government seeks direct appellate review of a district-court decision that granted it all the relief it sought and did not rule against it on any issue," according to what Trump's counsel wrote in a 32-page response.


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Dec 23, 2023

The Colorado Supreme Court ruled that former President Donald Trump should be kicked off the state’s ballot under the 14th Amendment, bringing to a head a brewing legal debate among judges and legal experts over whether Trump should be disqualified for being an “insurrectionist,” as the issue likely heads to the U.S. Supreme Court. Law professor and former General Counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives Stan Brand joins Brittany Lewis on "Forbes Newsroom" to discuss.

Read the full article on Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/alisondu...

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