How Landmark Decision from Colorado Supreme Court Regarding Trump Will Impact US Elections

Thursday, 21 December 2023

The US presidential elections have become even more intriguing.

Donald Trump is the first former president and potential candidate for the US presidency to be barred from party primaries based on the Constitution.

Read more to understand the decision of the Colorado Supreme Court and its consequences in the article by EuroPravda's journalist Oleh Pavliuk – Judging Trump by Civil War Laws: All About New Ban for US Race Leader.

The 14th Amendment to the US Constitution was adopted in 1868 right after the Civil War between the southern states (slavery supporters) and the northern states opposing it.

The essence of the wording of the third section of this amendment boils down to the fact that US certain officials may be prohibited from holding any government office if their participation in "rebellion or insurrection" against the States is proven.

Why was this amendment needed? Given the historical context, it was needed to prevent separatists from the southern US states from coming to power.

It was last mentioned in 1919-1920 when the US Congress twice voted against allowing socialist Congressman Victor Berger to work because he was convicted of espionage for opposing the participation of the States in World War I. But then the Supreme Court overturned the verdict, and Berger worked in the House of Representatives for six years.

How does this amendment relate to Donald Trump? The current legal battles around Trump and the 14th Amendment's Section 3 stem from the storming of the Capitol on 6 January 2021. There are still debates in the US about whether these events can be classified as an insurrection.

A legal decision appeared in 2022 where a legal connection was drawn between the storming of the Capitol and insurrection.

A new phase of the discussion began in August when two constitutional law professors, William Baude and Michael Stokes Paulsen, published a 126-page analysis of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. They stated that it allows more than just depriving Trump (and not only him) of the right to run for state offices. According to Baude and Paulsen, it can be done even without a court or congressional decision.

The article by Baude and Paulsen, as well as federal and state-level charges in connection with Trump's alleged interference in the 2020 elections in Georgia, prompted the consideration of lawsuits based on Section 3 of the 14th Amendment in several US states.

Their initiators, mostly liberal or Democrat affiliated, demand the removal of Trump's name from the ballot.

Among over 30 lawsuits, 12 were withdrawn by the plaintiffs, seven were rejected by the courts, 15 are still under consideration, and only one state, Colorado, has reached a decision.

The decision of the Colorado Supreme Court regarding Trump is not called unprecedented for nothing. No former president or presidential candidate in the US history has ever been banned from participating in elections for "rebellion to insurrection."

What arguments are siding with Trump? There are two camps here: one advocates for as conservative text-based reading of the Constitution as possible, while others allow interpretations based on how reality has changed since the 19th century. For example, the amendment's text does not even mention the "president," only an abstract "officeholder."

Another equally controversial point: who should determine that the events of 6 January 2021, were indeed an "insurrection"? The third question: what was Trump's actual role in the events of 6 January and can it be linked to "rebellion to insurrection"?

And finally, is Colorado court's decision fair to Trump's supporters since they are effectively limiting their electoral rights?

The final point in this story will be set by the US Supreme Court, where Trump will challenge the decision of the Colorado Supreme Court.

We cannot rule out that the effect of the court's decision will be contrary to the expectations of its initiators and "play into the hands" of Donald Trump.

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