Slate: Supreme Court must 'unanimously' strike down Colorado Trump ballot removal

 December 27, 2023

Slate is no fan of former President Donald Trump--a piece last week called him an "awful" person and "astoundingly dangerous" if he is re-elected in 2024.

Even so, the same piece acknowledged that Colorado's removal of Trump from the ballot is legally a poor ruling that should be reversed by the Supreme Court "unanimously."

In the same breath, so to speak, Lawrence Lessig said Trump's re-election "would be worse than any political event in the history of America — save the decision of South Carolina to launch the Civil War," and also said that "one does not need to like Donald Trump in order to see that the law does not preclude him from being a candidate."

Conservatives don't generally agree that Trump is dangerous for the country; in fact, many regard him as exactly what the country needs to fix the damage President Joe Biden and the Democrats have inflicted on it since Biden took office in 2021.

The reasoning

But they don't need to agree with Lessig about Trump's supposed shortcomings to agree wholeheartedly that Colorado was wrong to kick Trump off the ballot there.

Lessig's reasoning about the 14th Amendment is comprehensive.

First, he noted that "president" wasn't mentioned as an office prohibited by the amendment. He thinks this is on purpose, since president was mentioned in an earlier draft and then removed.

Including national offices would pit states against each other, he argued. Texas has already threatened to remove Biden from its state ballot in retaliation for Colorado's move.

When state offices are targeted, conversely, it only affects that state for the most part.

An obsolete amendment

Additionally, he argues that the amendment was only intended to apply to Civil War participants, not any other insurrectionists. Applying it to Trump's situation is twisting the Constitution and will only lead to chaos and a breakdown of our democracy, he conceded.

In short, the amendment is obsolete and no longer applies to anyone, since the Civil War was over 150 years ago.

Lessig understands that his party really, really wants to get Trump off the ballot because with polls being what they are, currently, he might actually beat Biden.

But unlike most people these days, he also understands that if you don't follow the Constitution fairly and treat others the way you would want to be treated, your malfeasance is going to come back to you like a boomerang straight to the head.

It's not going to be pretty when Republicans turn around and apply these new rules to Democrats, which is how we got three new conservative Supreme Court justices under Trump's first term.

When are they ever going to learn?

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