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Trump’s Colorado Ballot Disqualification Sparks Political Firestorm


Colorado Supreme Court rules Trump off ballot

Posted: December 21, 2023 at 3:41 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

The Colorado Supreme Court, on Tuesday, made a groundbreaking decision to disqualify former President Donald Trump from the state’s 2024 primary ballot, citing his involvement in the January 6 Capitol riot. This decision, invoking the 14th Amendment, has caused fierce reactions from members of Congress in both parties.

Colorado Historic Ruling

The court’s decision hinges on the interpretation of the 14th Amendment. This amendment disqualifies individuals who have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the United States from holding public office. The ruling directly ties Trump’s actions and rhetoric surrounding the January 6 Capitol riot to the insurrection clause. 

Before the election had even been decided, Trump began “laying the groundwork” to claim the election was stolen, the court wrote. On Dec. 19, 2020, he urged his supporters in a post to descend on the nation’s capital on Jan. 6 for a “wild” protest — a post that served as a “call to arms” for extremist groups.  

On the day itself, Trump directed his supporters toward the Capitol. The court’s chronology noted that Trump’s supporters were “following his instructions.”  

“This ruling is a direct response to the events of January 6 and is based on our interpretation of the Constitution,” stated the majority opinion from the Colorado Supreme Court. “We conclude that the foregoing evidence, the great bulk of which was undisputed at trial, established that President Trump engaged in insurrection.”

Pushback from Republicans

Trump’s legal team immediately announced plans to challenge the ruling, aiming to take the battle to the U.S. Supreme Court. 

“This ruling, issued by the Colorado Supreme Court, attacks the very heart of this nation’s democracy. It will not stand, and we trust that the Supreme Court will reverse this unconstitutional order,” stated Alina Habba, Trump’s legal spokesperson.

Following the decision, key Republican figures have voiced their support for Trump. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis criticized the decision as an overreach of power. 

“We do not accept this attack on our democratic processes and will fight this unjust decision,” DeSantis stated. 

Similarly, Vivek Ramaswamy expressed solidarity, saying he would remove his name from Colorado’s ballot if Trump remains disqualified.

The Republican Party of Colorado has even threatened to cancel the primary entirely or switch to a caucus if Trump remains off the primary ballot.

This change would bring logistical and legal challenges but would allow Coloradans to still be able to cast their vote for the former president if the Supreme Court upholds the decision. This would require approvals from the national Republican Party and the Colorado Secretary of the State’s Office, which runs elections in the state. 

“We’re at the mercy of the U.S. Supreme Court. We’re not sure what their timing is going to be. We’re figuring it out as we go,” said Dave Williams, the chairman of the Colorado Republican Party. “But we’ll make our preparations to convert to a caucus while this is all playing out.”

“And if it [a Supreme Court ruling] does not go in our favor, we’ll plan to do a caucus. But if it does go in our favor, then nothing will change,” Williams added.

The Supreme Court currently has a six-to-three conservative majority. Samuel Issacharoff, a professor of constitutional law at New York University, told BBC that while the justices, even the three appointed by Trump, have shown willingness to rule against him, he believes they would be extremely reluctant to be seen as limiting voters’ options at the ballot box.

Controversial Comments on Immigration

The ruling comes amidst backlash that Trump has faced over his comments suggesting immigrants are “poisoning the blood of our country.” 

“They let — I think the real number is 15, 16 million people into our country. When they do that, we got a lot of work to do. They’re poisoning the blood of our country,” Trump told a crowd at a rally in New Hampshire last week. “That’s what they’ve done. They poison mental institutions and prisons all over the world, not just in South America, not just to three or four countries that we think about, but all over the world. They’re coming into our country from Africa, from Asia, all over the world.”

The term “blood poisoning” was used by Hitler in his manifesto “Mein Kampf,” in which he criticized immigration and the mixing of races. 

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, married to Elaine Chao, an immigrant herself, subtly rebuked Trump, saying, “It strikes me that it didn’t bother him when he appointed Elaine Chao secretary of transportation.”

President Joe Biden, addressing Trump’s remarks, condemned them as echoing dangerous historical rhetoric. 

“I don’t believe, as the president — former president — said again yesterday, that immigrants are polluting, polluting our blood,” Biden stated, emphasizing the divisive nature of such language.

On Tuesday, Trump doubled down on his immigration stance suggesting that people crossing the border illegally into the United States are “destroying the blood of our country.”

“They dump them on the border, and they pour into our country and nobody said to check them,” he said at a campaign event in Waterloo, Iowa.

“They’re destroying the blood of our country. That’s what they’re doing. They’re destroying our country,” Trump said.

Trump’s comments are not the first time he’s invoked “the blood of our country” when making derisive comments about immigrants.

During an interview with The National Pulse in September, he suggested that undocumented immigrants were “poisoning the blood of our country.”

The combination of the Colorado ruling and Trump’s remarks on immigration suggests a highly charged and contentious political environment as we approach the 2024 presidential elections.

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