Legal 'experts' got it wrong on Trump ballot case, but why?

 March 11, 2024

A new analysis by National Review's Becket Adams pointed out that a number of legal experts who assured viewers that Colorado's ruling to kick Donald Trump off the state ballot was correct were proven wrong when the Supreme Court unanimously overturned the ruling.

Adams looked at analysis by former federal judge Michael Luttig on CNN, Lawrence Tribe on NBC, former acting U.S. solicitor general Neal Katyal on PBS, and Tristan Snell on CNN and MSNBC. All three of them said they thought Colorado had a leg to stand on in using the 14th Amendment to disqualify Trump from the ballot.

Luttig said the Colorado ruling “was a straightforward application of the 14th Amendment in plain terms” and assured his audience that he was "always exceedingly careful" about his word choice in these matters.

"I know that the Colorado Supreme Court decision is unassailable in every single respect under the Constitution of the United States," he concluded.

They all agreed

Tribe, who has functioned as an unofficial White House advisor, fully agreed with Luttig's use of "unassailable."

Kaytal went even further, saying, “That is after all, what the 14th Amendment to our Constitution added in 1868 says. And people like me kind of would much prefer to beat Trump at the ballot box. But our founders did have this absolute constitutional requirement that you can’t be an insurrectionist, just like you have to be 35 years old and a natural-born citizen.”

Snell tried to say that Trump was already disqualified and Colorado was just recognizing the obvious.

Any “state or local official can reject Trump as constitutionally disqualified from office, under the 14th Amendment. It does not require Congress. It does not require a lawsuit. Trump has already been disqualified. Automatically. Colorado just recognized the obvious," he said.

They were wrong

"The expert legal analysis didn’t even come close to matching the result — not even by a little bit," Adams wrote, adding that both the "expertise" and "news analysis" both failed to inform audiences correctly and were a "disaster."

He then wondered if the deception was done on purpose or out of wishful thinking. A third option, he noted, was that the pundits were telling their viewers what they wanted to hear.

He compared the coverage to the "Russian collusion" narrative during Trump's presidency, which turned out to be completely false.

If in fact these so-called experts were telling viewers what they wanted to hear, this is not news but entertainment, he argued.

"If the answer is that these experts and their hosting news organizations were merely feeding their viewers’ appetites, then why are we still referring to these companies as newsrooms? Promoting what viewers want to hear, as opposed to the facts or the likelihood of how a story will turn out, isn’t journalism. It’s entertainment," he said.

I think he hit the nail on the head.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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