Colorado Trump ruling relied on Jan. 6 committee claim of insurrection

 December 21, 2023

The Colorado Supreme Court's decision to disqualify former President Donald Trump from the 2024 ballot has raised concerns as it extensively referenced sources with perceived partisan bias, including the January 6 Committee.

In a 4-3 majority ruling, the court invoked Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment, designed for those who fought for the Confederacy, alleging that Trump's actions during the January 6, 2021 riot amounted to "insurrection."

The details

Despite Trump not facing charges or convictions related to insurrection, the court relied on other sources, such as Special Counsel Jack Smith's pursuit of Trump in federal courts.

Trump has not been charged with sedition or incitement, but rather "conspiracy to defraud" the U.S. The Senate's failure to convict Trump in the second impeachment trial was also noted.

The court cited Trump's alleged creation of a "general atmosphere of political violence" using rally speeches and references to the Proud Boys. It did not consider left-wing violence, including the attempted insurrection in May 2020, when a mob attacked the White House.

The Jan. 6 committee

Among the referenced sources was the January 6 Committee, criticized for its one-sided composition and lack of an adversarial process.

The court defended the committee's evidence admission, noting two Republican members, despite their anti-Trump stance, and claiming a "highly skilled" legal staff. A dissenting judge emphasized the committee's report's lack of impartiality and Trump's denial of due process.

The court also echoed Democratic impeachment managers, arguing that Trump's use of "fight like hell" in his January 6 speech constituted incitement, despite his call for a "peaceful and patriotic" march.

This argument was countered during the impeachment trial, showcasing Democrats' use of similar rhetoric.

Critics argue that the court's heavy reliance on partisan sources, especially the January 6 Committee, raises questions about the decision's fairness and credibility. The decision has sparked concerns that its partisan nature could undermine its legitimacy.

Barr's view

Former Trump Attorney General Bill Barr contended that a case of such magnitude should involve months of discovery, complex arguments, and numerous witnesses, drawing a comparison to Trump's federal indictment related to the 2020 election.

He noted that the federal case does not accuse Trump of inciting an insurrection. Barr expressed his expectation that the U.S. Supreme Court would promptly take up the Colorado case and overturn the ruling.

He raised concerns about potential chaos if the decision is allowed to stand, with states frequently using the 14th Amendment to exclude national politicians from ballots.

Trump's legal team has urged the Supreme Court to carefully consider whether to take up the case, and Trump remains on the Colorado ballot pending a federal Supreme Court decision.

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Thomas Jefferson
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