Before we try to figure out what the Supreme Court may or may not do with Colorado’s decision to kick Trump off their ballot, a little bit of history, okay?
The 14th Amendment, ratified in 1868, was primarily a corollary to the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery and turned 4.5 million pieces of chattel property into human beings. And since these human beings lived in the United States, it was necessary to define their civil rights.
For this reason, the Amendment promoted the idea of ‘equal protection,’ a concept that has been used in such important cases as Brown v. Board of Education, Roe v. Wade and Bush v. Gore.
The Amendment also defined a certain class of individuals who would not receive all the civil rights due everyone else, namely the right to hold a political office which was denied to persons who had engaged in an insurrection against the government, an issue which had come up when the Confederate states rejoined the Union and had to send representatives to the Congress in D.C.
If today’s Court finds in favor of Trump and against Colorado, I suspect the decision will be based on narrow, procedural grounds having to do with whether the President is considered an ‘officer’ or whether Trump has actually participated in an insurrection, the latter awaiting his trial on the indictments handed down by Jack Smith.
On the other hand, Trump endlessly attacked the federal judiciary during his Presidential term, even getting into a verbal pissing match with Chief Justice Roberts who found himself lecturing Trump on the virtues of an ‘independent judiciary’ after Trump called a federal judge an ‘Obama judge’ for ruling against him in an immigration case.
I suspect that like just about everyone else other than Fucker Carlson and Sean Hannity, the Supreme Court justices are sick and tired of listening to Donald Trump. But if Trump’s absence from the Colorado ballot is allowed to stand, it would mean that the Court would probably have just ended the GOP nominating process and handed the nomination to Nikki Haley, whether she deserves it or not.
Let’s assume for the moment, that the Court issues a stay of the Colorado action and Trump remains on the ballot there as well as in a bunch of other states where there are also moves to get his name erased before we vote in 2024.
Lawsuits seeking to disqualify Trump are currently pending in 16 states, and while most of these states are blue, there are also several very red states, like South Carolina and Texas. But with the exception of those two states, only one other state – Wisconsin – might swing either way in the general election, so the all-important Electoral College count wouldn’t be greatly impacted by Trump’s disappearance from the ballot because no matter who represents the GOP in the general election, their candidate wouldn’t be winning any of the other states anyway.
Some of the talk about how the Supreme Court will deal with this issue is coming down on the side of letting the Colorado decision stand, because after all, the states are responsible for running elections within their own borders and they should have the last word on what their rules should say.
But that’s not entirely true, because the federal courts, up to and including the Supreme Court, intervene in cases involving gerrymandering all the time. In this regard, the Roberts Court has shown a marked dislike for plaintiffs who show up to argue for voting ‘rights,’ which would obviously be a factor in the Colorado case because in this instance, Colorado is denying some of the voters the ‘right’ to vote for the candidate of their choice. So, in this instance, the issue of voting ‘rights’ is suddenly putting the veritable shoe on the veritable other foot.
I’m going to end this story by saying that I hope the Court overrules Colorado and says that removing Trump from the ballot is a violation of due process because he hasn’t been convicted of leading or participating in an insurrection just yet.
But the real reason I want him on the ballot is because it gives Joe another chance to go into the debate with Trump and tell him again to ‘shut up.’