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Trump’s Colorado ballot disqualification sparks fierce ALGOP chair backlash

The U.S. Supreme Court now faces immense pressure to address this controversial case expeditiously.

Former President Donald Trump speaking to the Alabama Republican Party. Via Alabama Republican Party

In a landmark decision, the Colorado Supreme Court deemed former President Donald Trump ineligible to appear on the state’s ballot, citing Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment’s “insurrection clause,” for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol. This ruling ignited a firestorm of criticism from Republican leaders nationwide.

Alabama Republican Party Chairman John Wahl swiftly denounced the decision, releasing a scathing statement. “This court ruling is the latest example of Democrats using government power as a political weapon,” Wahl said. He paralleled this with past events, including the IRS targeting conservative groups in 2012 and what he perceives as the Biden Administration’s politicization of the Justice Department. “These actions undermine the faith and trust of the American people and are a serious reason trust in the federal government is at an all-time low,” he added.

Wahl further criticized the Colorado Court’s decision, arguing it contradicts the constitutional principle of presumed innocence. “The United States Constitution enshrines the basic human right that every person is innocent until proven guilty. That includes Donald Trump, and unfortunately, the Colorado Supreme Court forgot that when making this ruling,” he stated.

The Colorado 2nd Judicial District Court initially ruled that while Trump had “engaged in insurrection,” he did not fit the definition of an “officer” as outlined in the Amendment. This key distinction led the lower court to conclude that Trump could not be disqualified from appearing on the state ballot based on this criterion alone.

However, in a decisive and contrasting move, the Colorado Supreme Court stepped in to overturn this portion of the lower court’s findings. In their judgment, the Supreme Court disagreed with the lower court’s interpretation, holding that Trump’s status and actions did indeed render him subject to the insurrection clause’s provisions.

The court’s majority, in an unsigned opinion, justified their decision under Section 3. This clause stipulates that no one who has engaged in insurrection or rebellion, or aided enemies of the United States, shall hold office, unless Congress removes this disability by a two-thirds vote in each House.

Wahl’s statement continues its assault on the Biden administration, inferring some manner of collusion. “If this liberal court and the Biden Administration really believed in the democratic process, they would let the voters decide who should be our next president. Using the justice system to silence your political opponent is not only un-American, it’s just plain wrong,” he expressed. He hopes the U.S. Supreme Court will intervene and “correct this grave miscarriage of justice by returning control to the voters.”

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The U.S. Supreme Court now faces immense pressure to address this controversial case expeditiously. The resolution of this issue carries significant implications, not only for the upcoming 2024 presidential election but also for the future of the Republic, posing a complex and potentially precedent-setting challenge for the Court.

Bill Britt is editor-in-chief at the Alabama Political Reporter and host of The Voice of Alabama Politics. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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