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“Strikingly Undemocratic”: Republicans Rage Over Trump’s Removal From Colorado Ballot

By CM Chaney · December 20, 2023

In brief…

  • Colorado Supreme Court rules Trump must be removed from state's 2024 ballot, citing 14th Amendment
  • Trump team vows immediate appeal to U.S. Supreme Court
  • Decision sparks outrage from Republicans and legal experts as undemocratic
  • Could have sweeping implications with similar cases pending across multiple swing states
  • Even GOP Trump rivals alarmed, say voters should decide, not courts
Legal experts and lawmakers unleashed fierce criticism after Colorado's all-Democrat state Supreme Court took the extraordinary step of removing Donald Trump from the 2024 ballot based on a post-Civil War constitutional provision targeting Confederates.  Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia

Republicans erupted in outrage Tuesday after Colorado’s all-Democrat state Supreme Court ruled to remove Donald Trump from the state’s 2024 presidential ballot.

The controversial judgment cites a violation of the post-Civil War 14th Amendment related to the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riot.

The 4-3 decision came over furious dissents even within the liberal court. Trump’s team immediately vowed to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court before Colorado finalizes its ballot.

The 14th Amendment’s Insurrection Clause aimed to bar Confederates from office after the Civil War. But as Fox News host Laura Ingraham noted, Trump has never been convicted over the events of Jan. 6, which Democrats labeled an “insurrection” from the outset.

Ingraham slammed the ruling as “one of the most antidemocratic decisions we have seen in American history.”

Four “unelected judges” took it upon themselves to “disqualify someone who otherwise meets all the qualifications,” said lawyer Chris Landau, a former Supreme Court clerk.

Landau believes the nation’s highest court will “take one look at” the case and reverse the startling judgment. But the Colorado decision has alarming implications, as similar legal actions await adjudication in over a dozen other states. Several key swing states like Pennsylvania have liberal-leaning courts.

George Washington University professor Jonathan Turley warned against viewing the controversial constitutional provision as “political silly putty.” While the Capitol attack brought disgrace, Turley argues it should not now serve to bar candidates from the democratic process.

“This is a time when we actually need democracy: We need to allow the voters to vote,” Turley emphasized.

Even some rival Republican contenders stood up for Trump, including businessman Vivek Ramaswamy. He pledged to remove himself from Colorado’s GOP primary ballot in solidarity.

“In an un-American, unconstitutional, and unprecedented decision, a cabal of Democrat judges are barring Trump from the ballot,” Ramaswamy declared.

Former New Jersey governor Chris Christie, who often attacks Trump, similarly stated that courts should not be intervening to stop him. Voters must make that choice, Christie affirmed.