Colorado’s Judicial Activism May Turn America Into a Banana Republic

The Colorado Supreme Court decided in Anderson v. Griswold that former President Trump is ineligible to run for reelection and is barred from appearing on Colorado primary ballots. This not only sets a dangerous precedent for other states in their attempts to prevent the ever-popular Republican candidate from running for office, but also reveals how woke politics have infested our most sacred—and supposedly impartial—judicial system, even when it runs blatantly contrary to our Constitution.

An Anti-legal Argument

In its ruling, the court held that Trump, “is disqualified from holding the office of President under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment.” Why is the 14th Amendment such a nonstarter for those who want to run for President? Well, Section 3 clearly states that: “No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office… shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may, by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.”

That “shall have engaged” conditional reveals how a candidate must have in fact participated in an insurrection, and have been convicted of the crime, and not merely assumed to be guilty. What the Colorado Supreme Court did was violate our country’s long standing notion of presumption of innocence in a court of law. In fact, this ruling could itself be a violation of Section 1 of the 14th Amendment: the Due Process clause.

Then again, it isn’t surprising that the judges would take this anti-legalistic, ahistorical route—they were appointed by Colorado’s Democrat governor. It seems as though political preference and bias are steadily taking over our justice system, if they haven’t already done so.

The First Step to a Banana Republic

Over a dozen other cases are pending nationwide to get Trump off 2024 election ballots. In the meantime, California is spearheading the attempt, with Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis declaring that her state will “explore every legal option” to accomplish the unprecedented. Kounalakis elaborated in a letter to her Secretary of State: “This decision is about honoring the rule of law in our country and protecting the fundamental pillars of our democracy… [California] must stand on the right side of history…”

The rule of law requires a candidate to be convicted of a crime before a punishment can be doled out. Perhaps the Lieutenant Governor is alluding to some other country’s rule of law?

Even if Trump was convicted of one of the numerous allegations set forth before the courts: tax fraud, illegal business practices, sexual harassment, et cetera, it wouldn’t stop him from appearing on any presidential ballot. VOA News, a U.S. government-funded news organization succinctly advises that felons are not barred from running for the presidency. Apart from the select requirements of being at least 35 years old, a natural-born citizen, and a U.S. resident of at least 14 years, there is no clause in the Constitution which precludes a candidate with a criminal background from running—and winning—the presidency. Even if a former President was impeached (as was the case with both Bill Clinton and Donald Trump), he or she is not prevented from running for reelection.

The closest legal instrument we have to prevent a candidate from running is the 14th Amendment, and that clearly states that the person must have indeed participated in an insurrection. Legacy media feelings don’t count.

That doesn’t stop American intellectuals from chiming in, unfortunately.

University of Michigan law professor Richard Friedman, remarked how the Colorado decision isn’t surprising, and that Trump, “[] took an oath to preserve, protect and defend the constitution of the United States. And then he did what he could to subvert the lawful processes for electing our president. The nation must accept the decision and move on.”

Sean Grimsely, an attorney representing Anderson stated that Trump, “betrayed his oath to the Constitution by engaging in insurrection against it, and by doing so he made himself ineligible for public office. We hope and believe other states will now follow suit.”

Free Speech for the People, a non-profit (and reportedly non-partisan) organization, has been a fervent proponent of disqualifying Trump as he’s “engaged in insurrection and rebellion against the U.S. Constitution,” with seemingly no proof to back up its claims.

It actually seems as if none of these commentators have any proof of Trump actively inciting and supporting insurrection attempts. If they did, he would’ve been behind bars by now, no questions asked. Instead, we find the contrary: countless recordings and videos of Trump calling for peaceful protests and for supporters to “patriotically make [their] voices heard.”

You won’t see courts going after Democrats who deny elections. From Hillary Clinton, to Stacey Abrams, to Hakeem Jeffries and many others, Democrats get off scot-free while any politician with an R next to his or her name is labeled an insurrectionist with no proof—let alone a proper trial.

As South Texas College of Law Houston professor Josh Blackman remarked, “What we’re talking about here is telling people that you can’t vote for the candidate of your choice. This would be the single biggest disenfranchisement in modern history.”

The Colorado decision will not hold Constitutional muster, yet, it’s still a troubling precedent which shows how political favoritism and leftist dogma is corrupting the seemingly incorruptible: our judicial system. We must move away from this toxic trend, and re-embrace our Constitution. Failure to do so could lead to one of the largest cases of voter suppression the nation has ever seen.

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Free the People publishes opinion-based articles from contributing writers. The opinions and ideas expressed do not always reflect the opinions and ideas that Free the People endorses. We believe in free speech, and in providing a platform for open dialog. Feel free to leave a comment!

Connor Vasile

Connor Vasile is an author, writer, and political commentator who writes on American politics and economics. You can find him on Twitter @connor_vasile.

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