Turley demands SCOTUS show unity in overturning Colorado ballot removal decision

 December 23, 2023

The Colorado Supreme Court's decision to remove former President Donald Trump from the 2024 ballot sent shockwaves through the country last week, especially among legal scholars from all sides of the political spectrum. 

Shapiro professor of public interest law at George Washington University and practicing criminal defense attorney Jonathan Turley recently penned a strongly-worded piece for the New York Post not only condemning the Colorado Supreme Court for its unprecedented action, but called on the U.S. Supreme Court to correct it, immediately.

Turley is confident that the high court will overturn the ruling, but he emphasized that "clarity" is needed in this case.

"I believe that the Colorado opinion will be set aside, but it is not finality but clarity that we need from the United States Supreme Court," Turley wrote.

What's going on?

Last week, a panel of four liberal Colorado Supreme Court justices decided that as a result of language in the 14th Amendment, Trump would be removed from the ballot after several activists sued in the left's latest attempt to hamstring Trump's presidential campaign.

The decision sparked outrage among voters in the state and across the country, including legal scholars like Turley, and politicians from both sides of the political aisle.

Turley wrote, "The test for the U.S. Supreme Court is not just what they should do, but how they should do it. As an institution, the Court is often called upon to seize such moments to bring unity and clarity on our core values. That is why this insidious opinion must not only be unequivocally but unanimously overturned."

He emphasized that the three liberal justices on the court need to speak in the same voice as the conservatives, given that such a matter is beyond political ideologies.

Turley added, "As with the three Democratic state justices who refused to sign off on the Colorado opinion, these federal justices can now bring a moment of unity not just for the court but the country in rejecting this shockingly anti-democratic theory."

"The Colorado decision to bar Donald Trump from the ballot will be overturned because it is wrong on the history and the language of the 14th Amendment. Dead wrong," Turley wrote.


Turley dissected the language used in the U.S. Constitution that resulted in Trump's removal, noting that there's key differences between the riot that occurred on Jan. 6, 2021, and the originally intended purpose of the language during the Civil War.

After the Civil War, House members were outraged to see Alexander Stephens, the Confederate vice president, seeking to take the oath with an array of other former Confederate senators and military officers.

They had all previously taken the same oath and then violated it to join a secession movement that claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans.

That was a true rebellion.

Noting that the people involved in the Jan. 6 riot are not to be excused, Turley emphasized, "January 6, 2021, was a riot," and not an "insurrection."

He wrote, "The majority on the Colorado Supreme Court adopted sweeping interpretations of every element of the decision to find that Trump not only incited an insurrection, but can be disqualified under this provision."

Many, including Turley, are confident that the Supreme Court will correct the situation while there's still time, but Turley's question remains: Will they do it the right way?

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