Why America Could End Up in Crisis Thanks to Donald Trump – From the Author: “Whatever SCOTUS decides, expect half the country to be infuriated with the result. Imagine if Trump were barred from the ballot. The backlash would perhaps be more threatening to our electoral process than anything Trump himself could have concocted. On the other hand, if Trump is allowed to stay on the ballot, liberals will bemoan SCOTUS for a political institution that lacks all credibility.”
The Donald Trump Challenge
Donald Trump is taking heat at the state level. Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold ripped into Trump during an interview with MSNBC on Saturday, calling the former president a “liar.”
Speaking in response to Trump’s comments that Colorado was performing “election interference” to keep him off the ballot, Griswold said that “Trump is a liar with no respect for the Constitution.”
The ‘election interference’ at question refers to efforts to use Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to ban Trump from the ballot.
“To say that a section of the 14th Amendment is ‘election interference’ and considering how to uphold the Constitution is ‘election interference’ is un-American,” Griswold said. “We know that the former president is a liar who will do everything he can to hold on to power.”
Griswold, who likely senses political opportunity in this very national moment, added “One of the reasons that this situation is so unprecedented is we’ve never had a president try to steal the presidency and then have the audacity to try to run for office.”
Action in the courts
Last week, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) sued Griswold to bar her from under the 14th Amendment from including Trump’s name on the GOP primary ballot. In response to the lawsuit, Griswold said that she was unclear on whether Trump should be allowed to run. “Ultimately, it’s good for a court to weight in,” she said. “It’s not a cut and dry case and that’s why it’s important that we’re seeing this litigation.”
Colorado is not the only state where the 14th Amendment is being mentioned. Battleground states like Arizona, Michigan, and New Hampshire – the states where the 2024 election will be decided – are also being considered for 14th Amendment tests. But Colorado is the hotspot for the moment.
“Having disqualified himself from public office by violating Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, Donald Trump must be removed from the ballot, according to a lawsuit filed today by six Republican and unaffiliated Colorado voters….represented by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington,” the CREW website read. “Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, also known as the Disqualification Clause, bars any person from holding federal or state office who took an “oath…to support the Constitution of the United States” and then has “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.
CREW, and many other legal pundits, believe that Trump violated the 14th Amendment with his actions related to January 6th – and that he should be barred from the election as a result. CREW has filed it’s suit in a Colorado state court. But rest assured that a Colorado state court won’t be having the final say on whether the 14th Amendment bars Trump from the 2024 election. A legal question so novel and consequential will ultimately decided at the highest level: in the Supreme Court, where conservatives hold a decisive 6-3 majority.
Whatever SCOTUS decides, expect half the country to be infuriated with the result. Imagine if Trump were barred from the ballot. The backlash would perhaps be more threatening to our electoral process than anything Trump himself could have concocted. On the other hand, if Trump is allowed to stay on the ballot, liberals will bemoan SCOTUS for a political institution that lacks all credibility.
Harrison Kass is the Senior Editor and opinion writer at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, Harrison joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison holds a BA from Lake Forest College, a JD from the University of Oregon, and an MA from New York University. Harrison listens to Dokken.