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Coalition of state AGs back Trump in key Colorado ballot case

Memebers of the Supreme Court of the United States 2022 - WIkimedia - Public Domain
Casey Harper

(The Center Square) – A coalition of more than two dozen state attorneys general have voiced their support for former President Trump after the U.S. Supreme Court announced it would review the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision to remove Trump from the ballot for his connection to the January 6 Capitol riot.

The state leaders have now filed a joint brief with the U.S. Supreme Court arguing Colorado’s court went too far with their ruling.

“Court’s immediate intervention is required. The Colorado court’s decision will create widespread chaos,” the brief said. “Most obviously, it casts confusion into an election cycle that is just weeks away. Beyond that, it upsets the respective roles of the Congress, the States, and the courts.

"Now that the Colorado court has intruded into an arena where courts previously have feared to tread, swift intervention is essential," the brief adds.

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President Donald Trump. Courtesy Voice of America.

The Colorado court ruled that Trump was ineligible to run for office, saying that he “engaged in an insurrection,” and thus violated Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment, which was originally written after the Civil War to keep formerly Confederate leaders out of office.

“In deciding that former President Trump engaged in insurrection, the Colorado court fashioned a definition of 'insurrection' that is standardless and vague,” the attorneys general wrote. “The best available evidence suggests that insurrection equates with rebellion — a more demanding standard than the Colorado Court settled on. But what constitutes insurrection is not a question courts should answer at all.”

Trump faces a similar battle in other states, such as Maine, which also removed him from the ballot. Michigan’s court ruled to keep Trump on the ballot.

The Supreme Court’s decision will likely have a ripple effect across the nation. If the court rules against Trump, it could cause more attempts to remove Trump from the ballot, but if the court rules with Trump, the effort will be defeated.

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© iStock - SeanPavonePhoto

The former president, though, does still face nearly 100 criminal charges across several states.

Trump’s critics have repeatedly called him a threat to Democracy, saying his rhetoric provoked the Jan. 6 incident. His supporters have pushed back, pointing out Trump called for peaceful demonstration on Jan. 6 and said political motives have elevated the prosecution of this incident while the Black Lives Matter riots did not receive the same legal scrutiny.

The attorneys general argued the U.S. Supreme Court needs to resolve the ballot issue once and for all.

“Our country needs an authoritative, consistent, and uniform answer to whether former President Trump is constitutionally eligible for President, Granting the Petition would at least be a step in that direction.”

Attorneys general from Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Wyoming signed the brief.