Former Judge Napolitano urges 'unanimity' from Supreme Court in overturning 14th Amendment ballot removal efforts against Trump

 January 2, 2024

The recent decisions in Colorado and Maine to declare former President Donald Trump disqualified from appearing on 2024 election ballots under the auspices of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment are viewed as so egregiously undemocratic and unconstitutional by some that even some of Trump's harshest critics are demanding those decisions be reversed.

That includes former Judge Andrew Napolitano, who called for the U.S. Supreme Court to "unanimously" reject those decisions and halt the 14th Amendment-related Trump ballot removal efforts that remain ongoing in several other states, according to Newsmax.

He suggested that the burden would fall on Chief Justice John Roberts to overcome the high court's 6-3 partisan split and figure out "how can this be resolved with unanimity because the court cannot be made to look political."

Trump's name ordered removed from primary ballots in Colorado and Maine

The Associated Press reported last week that the Colorado Republican Party had filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court to review and overturn the ruling by the Colorado Supreme Court to bar former President Trump from appearing on that state's upcoming primary election ballot under the 14th Amendment due to his having allegedly "engaged in insurrection" against the United States by way of his purported incitement of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot of 2021.

Attorneys for the Colorado GOP argued in the filing, "Unless the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision is overturned, any voter will have the power to sue to disqualify any political candidate, in Colorado or in any other jurisdiction that follows its lead. This will not only distort the 2024 presidential election but will also mire courts henceforth in political controversies over nebulous accusations of insurrection."

Meanwhile, just days after the Democrat-dominated Colorado court decided to remove Trump, the leading Republican presidential candidate, from the ballot, CBS News reported that a similar decision was made unilaterally by Democratic Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows for the same ostensible 14th Amendment and "insurrection"-related reasons.

"I am mindful that no Secretary of State has ever deprived a presidential candidate of ballot access based on Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment," she wrote in her decision. "I am also mindful, however, that no presidential candidate has ever before engaged in insurrection."

Attorneys for the former president have vowed to appeal both rulings to the U.S. Supreme Court, if necessary, so that his name can be restored to the ballots and so other ongoing removal efforts can be stopped in other states. Notably, both the Colorado and Maine decisions were immediately placed on hold pending the outcome of those appeals.

Supreme Court must establish nationwide uniformity on 14th Amendment

In an interview Monday on Newsmax, former Judge Napolitano said, "It's a crazy situation that they have in Maine, whereby a single unelected official can decide who gets on the ballot and who doesn't -- without charges, without a trial, without a jury, without any conviction, without any finding of fault on the part of Donald Trump."

While the secretary's decision must first be challenged in Maine's court system, the Colorado ruling has already been appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, and Napolitano opined, "The court must take the Colorado case and either uphold it or reverse it, because if it doesn't, then you're going to have 51 -- counting the District of Columbia -- you're going to have 51 different decisions and different standards as to what the 14th Amendment means with respect to qualifications for the presidency.

"And that's not the Constitution. The Constitution needs to mean the same thing in all states of the union," he added.

Bellows' removal of Trump a "gross abuse of her office" that should be overturned

Napolitano predicted that Sec. Bellows' ruling would eventually be overturned and asserted, "These decisions as to who's running for office shouldn't be made by officials, and they shouldn't even be made by judges; they should be made by the voters."

Asked to speculate on the secretary's motives, the former judge noted the rapidly approaching deadline for printing ballots for Maine's upcoming primary election and suggested, "She may very well have thought that she could catch the Republicans flatfooted and print the ballots without his name on it before there's even time for an appeal."

"That would be a gross abuse of her office," he added, and one that appears ripe to be overturned by the courts at every level in the state and federally at the U.S. Supreme Court.

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