The Colorado Supreme Court ruled Tuesday in a 4-3 opinion that the Constitution’s “Insurrection Clause” prohibits former President Donald Trump from appearing on the ballot for the presidency in 2024.
“The court found by clear and convincing evidence that President Trump engaged in insurrection as those terms are used in Section Three” of the Fourteenth Amendment, the ruling reads.
The provocative ruling partially reverses a prior ruling from Colorado District Court Judge Sarah Wallace, who ruled in November that Trump is not an officer of the United States as defined by the Fourteenth Amendment and that the Amendment therefore cannot be used to disqualify him from appearing on the Colorado primary ballot.
In his dissent, Chief Justice Boatright wrote, “Dismissal is particularly appropriate here because the Electors brought their challenge without a determination from a proceeding (e.g., a prosecution for an insurrection-related offense) with more rigorous procedures to ensure adequate due process.”
In partially reversing Wallace, the Court all but dared the U.S. Supreme Court to step in by January 4, 2024.
“If review is sought in the Supreme Court before the stay expires on January 4, 2024, then the stay shall remain in place, and the Secretary will continue to be required to include President Trump’s name on the 2024 presidential primary ballot, until the receipt of any order or mandate from the Supreme Court,” the ruling says.
The Court disagreed with Trump’s claims that his actions were protected free speech.
“We consider and reject President Trump’s argument that his speech on January 6 was protected by the First Amendment,” the ruling reads, seemingly ignoring Trump’s calls that day for protesters to conduct themselves “peacefully and patriotically.”
The fact that, at one point during his speech, President Trump said that “everyone here will soon be marching to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard” does not persuade us that the district court erred in finding that the first prong of the Brandenberg test was met. See Thompson, 590 F. Supp. 3d at 113–14. This isolated reference “cannot inoculate [President 20 Thompson involved a motion to dismiss. As a result, the court determined only that President Trump’s speech “plausibly [involved] words of incitement not protected by the First Amendment.” Thompson, 590 F. Supp. 3d at 115; see Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 553 (2007) (requiring plaintiffs to show that their complaints are plausible to survive a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim). 128 Trump] against the conclusion that his exhortation, made nearly an hour later, to ‘fight like hell’ immediately before sending rally-goers to the Capitol, within the context of the larger Speech and circumstances, was not protected expression.” Id. at 117.
The Court’s unilateral determination that Trump engaged in insurrection comes despite Trump having never been convicted of that – or any other – crime, or even been charged in court with the crime of insurrection. He was acquitted by the U.S. Senate of charges of engaging in insurrection and continues to deny wrongdoing.
Legal scholar Jonathan Turley rips Colorado decision to disqualify Trump from presidential ballot
‘This country is a powder keg, and this court is just throwing matches at it’
- A Colorado Supreme Court ruled Trump violated the insurrectionist clause of the 14th Amendment for his role in January 6 in a 4-3 decision
- Turley, a professor of law and Fox News legal analyst, believes the ruling endangers American democracy
- ‘I mean, this country is a powder keg, and this court is just throwing matches at it. And I think that it’s a real mistake. But I think that they’re wrong on the law’
Legal scholar Jonathan Turley slammed the Colorado Supreme Court for its ruling that removed former President Donald Trump from the state’s 2024 Republican primary ballot.
‘Well, this court just handed partisans on both sides the ultimate tool to try to shortcut elections, and it’s very, very dangerous,’ Turley said on Fox News moments after the decision.
‘I mean, this country is a powder keg, and this court is just throwing matches at it. And I think that it’s a real mistake. But I think that they’re wrong on the law,’ Turley added.
The court ruled Trump violated the insurrectionist clause of the 14th Amendment for his role in January 6 in a 4-3 decision from Democratic-appointed justices.
Turley, a professor of law and Fox News legal analyst, added he believes the ruling endangers American democracy.
Turley, speaking to Fox’s Laura Ingraham, also disagrees with the court’s premise on January 6.
‘You know, January 6 was many things, most of it not good. In my view it was not an insurrection. It was a riot,’ he said.
He said while he understands those in violation of the law that day should face consequences, the ruling against Trump goes a step too far.
‘That doesn’t mean that the people responsible for that day shouldn’t be held accountable. But to call this an insurrection, for the purposes of disqualification, would create a slippery slope for every state in the Union.’
Turley concluded by saying that this gets in the way of free and fair elections just ahead of the start of primary season.
‘This is a time when we actually need democracy. We need to allow the voters to vote. We need to hear their decision. And the court here just said, “You’re not going to get that in Colorado. We’re not going to let you vote for Donald Trump,”‘ he said.
‘And you know you can dislike Trump, you can believe he’s responsible for January 6 but this isn’t the way to do it. I mean, it is, you know, for the people that say they’re trying to protect democracy. This is hands down the most anti-Democratic opinion I’ve seen in my life.’
The 14th Amendment was approved after the Civil War and bars officials from seeking future office should they have ‘engaged in insurrection.’
‘A majority of the court holds that Trump is disqualified from holding the office of president under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment,’ the court wrote.
It is the first time in history the Constitution’s ‘insurrection clause’ has been used to disqualify a presidential candidate.
Colorado Supreme Court Disqualifies Trump From 2024 Ballot, Setting Up Supreme Court Challenge
The Colorado Supreme Court has disqualified Donald Trump from Colorado’s 2024 presidential election ballot, and in a 4-3 ruling has effectively blocked Trump from seeking the presidency because of his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, citing the post-Civil War-era 14th Amendment to the US Constitution that bans insurrectionists from holding public office. The Colorado case was the first constitutional challenge to Trump’s 2024 run to go through a full trial.
Voters, represented by the advocacy group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, had argued he should be barred from the ballot for inciting the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol.
Colorado’s highest court – whose seven-member bench was entirely appointed by Democratic governors – overturned a ruling from a district court judge who found that Trump incited an insurrection for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol, but said he could not be barred from the ballot because it was unclear that the provision was intended to cover the presidency.
In its ruling, the Democrat-controlled court found that Trump engaged in insurrection by inflaming his supporters with false claims of election fraud and directing them to the Capitol. The state justices determined that the office of the president is covered under the insurrection clause, which specifically lists those who previously took oaths to support the Constitution as “a member of Congress,” “officer of the United States,” “member of any State legislature” or an “executive or judicial officer of any State.” The district court had previously ruled that the office of the president was not covered under the clause.
The majority opinion was unsigned but joined by four of the seven justices.
Three justices dissented from Tuesday’s decision: Chief Justice Brian Boatright, Carlos Samour and Justice Maria Berkenkotter. Each wrote separate dissents taking issue with how the plaintiffs brought their 14th Amendment lawsuit using a provision of Colorado election law.
Berkenkotter wrote that “the majority construes the court’s authority too broadly.”
“The questions presented here simply reach a magnitude of complexity not contemplated by the Colorado General Assembly for its election code enforcement statute,” wrote Boatright. “The proceedings below ran counter to the letter and spirit of the statutory timeframe because the Electors’ claim overwhelmed the process.”
Samour similarly wrote that Colorado’s election law provides no “engine” for such a lawsuit, also noting that no federal legislation existed to enforce the 14th Amendment’s insurrection clause.
“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. Procedural due process is one of the aspects of America’s democracy that sets this country apart,” Samour wrote.
Ironically, all this ruling will do is further cement Trump’s status as leading presidential candidate as it not only affirms his status as target #1 of the Biden Department of Justice and liberal court system, but will test the Conservative-dominated Supreme Court appeal over its interpretation of the 14th Amendment, which according to many including a Colorado District court, does not apply to the Presidency.
Indeed, as Vivek Ramaswami observed, the 14th Amendment was part of the “Reconstruction Amendments” that were ratified following the Civil War. “It was passed to prohibit former Confederate military and political leaders from holding high federal or state office. These men had clearly taken part in a rebellion against the United States: the Civil War. That makes it all the more absurd that a left-wing group in Colorado is asking a federal court to disqualify the 45th President on the same grounds, equating his speech to rebellion against the United States.”
And there’s another legal problem: Trump is not a former “officer of the United States,” as that term is used in the Constitution, meaning Section 3 does not apply. As the Supreme Court explained in Free Enterprise Fund v. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (2010), an “officer of the United States” is someone appointed by the President to aid him in his duties under Article II, Section 2. The term does not apply to elected officials, and certainly not to the President himself.
The Framers of the 14th Amendment would be appalled to see this narrow provision—intended to bar former U.S. officials who switched to the Confederacy from seeking public office—being weaponized by a sitting President and his political allies to prevent a former President from seeking reelection. Our country is becoming unrecognizable to our Founding Fathers.
The court put its ruling on hold until Jan. 4, so Trump can first seek review from the Supreme Court, which he will. Until then, Trump’s name automatically remains on the ballot until the justices resolve the appeal.
“We do not reach these conclusions lightly,” wrote the court’s majority. “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.”
Naturally, Trump’s campaign immediately denounced the ruling.
“Unsurprisingly, 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,” a campaign spokesman, Steven Cheung, said.
“We have full confidence that the U.S. Supreme Court will quickly rule in our favor and finally put an end to these un-American lawsuits.”
Record 12,600 migrants encountered at border in 24 hours — as backlog for immigration hearings breaks 3 million
America’s border crisis is worsening with a record 12,600 migrants encountered by Customs and Border Protection officers in 24 hours Monday, according to Fox News.
Pictures showed a sea of thousands of newly arrived migrants huddled in neat lines as they awaited processing after illegally crossing into Eagle Pass, Texas.
Many had walked across the Rio Grande river which serves as the border between the US and Mexico with plans to seek asylum.
Numbers have reached the highest ever recorded since the end of Title 42 measures in May. August saw more than 304,000 migrants attempt to gain entry to the US, September increased to 341,000 and October logged 310,000.
Border resources are stretched so thin, road and rail crossings have been closed so all available officers can be diverted to processing the arriving migrants.
The Biden administration’s plan to control the flow was for migrants to wait in another country until they could get an appointment via the CBP One app, with up to 30,000 people per month allowed into the US to pursue asylum applications.