Colorado’s decision to remove Trump from the ballot is a boon, not a setback, for his campaign

Colorado’s decision to remove Trump from the ballot is a boon, not a setback, for his campaign

Election 2024

Mark Z. Barabak

Dec. 19, 2023

Donald Trump received an early Christmas present on Tuesday, courtesy of the Colorado Supreme Court.

In an unprecedented move, the justices ruled 4-3 that Trump was ineligible to run in the 2024 presidential election because of his role in the Jan. 6 attempted overthrow of the federal government.

However, the decision was postponed until January 4, or until the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the case, a move that appears all but certain.

The immediate impact was predictable: a headlong rush by Republicans to rally behind the party’s serially predicted presidential frontrunner.

Removing Trump from the ballot in Colorado under this theory is false, likely unconstitutional, and an unfortunately predictable but outrageous form of legal action. SCOTUS should put an end to this, wrote Texas GOP Rep. Chip Roy on the social media platform X.

Before making his fulminating statement, Roy was last seen campaigning in Iowa on behalf of Trump’s fading rival, the governor of Florida. Ron DeSantis.

Naturally, Democrats and Trump foes enjoyed the Colorado court’s decision. Any humiliation or formal reprimand is a welcome sanction for the would-be tinpot dictator.

But its practical effect may be questionable.

The deadline for Colorado to complete its presidential primaries is January 5, which, given the delayed decision, makes it very likely that Trump’s name will be included there on March 5. Colorado will be one of more than a dozen states voting that day to select the GOP nominee.

Of course, there is a possibility that the Supreme Court will uphold Trump’s disqualification and that enough states will follow suit to nullify his dangerous bid to reclaim the White House.

But given the court’s ideological makeup and partisan leanings, that seems as likely as Clarence Thomas resigning and Biden announcing his chairmanship of retired justices.

The main effect could therefore occur in the short term, i.e. the days after Tuesday’s decision.

There are now less than four weeks left before Republicans in Iowa cast the first votes for the 2024 elections on January 15. With the clock ticking, Trump rivals cannot afford a protracted legal skirmish that will consume what little attention will be paid to the election battle in the near future. holidays.

A perceived attack on Trump by Democratic-appointed Colorado judges is no less likely to make the rebellious ex-president more sympathetic to the Republican base; his support in the polls soared last April after the first of four indictments.

That, in turn, will make it harder for Trump’s rivals to attack the front-runner, not that they have been that willing so far.

Vivek Ramaswamy, the extremely combative Republican hopeful, quickly issued a statement calling the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision un-American, unconstitutional and unprecedented.

Even though his candidacy leads nowhere, Ramaswamy has achieved a significant milestone.

I pledge to withdraw from the Republican Party primaries in Colorado unless Trump is also allowed to participate in the states’ ballot, and I demand that [rivals] Ron DeSantis, Chris Christie and Nikki Haley immediately do the same,” he said. “Or else they will tacitly approve this illegal maneuver, which will have disastrous consequences for our country.

Hyperventilation aside, it doesn’t seem likely that any of these candidates will follow Ramaswamy’s example. But everyone will now have to stand up for Trump again or risk the wrath of their party’s base if they don’t.

Many Democrats, for their part, continue to hope for an easy way out.

They are counting on rulings like the one in Colorado, or legal efforts underway in California and other states, to remove Trump from the ballot and end the threat of his return to the White House.

But there is no easy shortcut to short-circuit Trump’s comeback, despite the elation over Tuesday’s court ruling.

Assuming Trump is the Republican Party’s nominee, Democrats will have to defeat Trump at the ballot box, as they should. A courtroom is not a place to decide presidential elections, as the Supreme Court did in 2000.

The stain persists to this day.


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