In a 4-3 decision, the Colorado Supreme Court has ruled Donald Trump ineligible to become President, removing him from the state’s ballot. Their decision hinges on an interpretation of the 14th Amendment. Section 3 of the 14th Amendment essentially states that anyone involved with insurrection shall not hold public office in the United States. The passage was written in the context of the Civil War ending. “Insurrection” was a clear reference to the Confederacy splitting from the Union. Colorado’s Supreme Court is attempting to say that Trump was involved in an “insurrection” on January 6th, therefore he is ineligible to become President.
There are a few things wrong with the court’s interpretation of the 14th Amendment. First of all, Donald Trump has not been convicted of any crime related to the incident that took place on January 6th at the Capitol. Second, referring to the riot on January 6th as an “insurrection” is a matter of opinion. Just because a term is frequently used by politicians and mainstream media news analysts does not mean it is being used accurately. And, obviously, to stretch the 14th and make it apply to Trump would be a flagrant violation of the spirit of the Amendment.
This ruling is most likely meant to distract as it doesn’t actually have any teeth. Colorado’s Supreme Court stayed its own ruling until January 4th, which is the state’s deadline to compose the 2024 Primary ballot. If Trump appeals the decision against him before January 4th, which he obviously will, then the decision will be permanently stayed unless the US Supreme Court rules in favor of Colorado. In other words, the US Supreme Court must uphold Colorado’s decision for it to stick. It is unlikely that the 6-3 conservative/liberal US Supreme Court would rule against Trump. If they did, many other states would follow suit to remove Trump from the ballot. This would cause civil unrest as it would be a violation of the right of the people to select their next leader.
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