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Barring Trump From Ballots Is a Weaponization of the Legal System

Posted on Thursday, December 21, 2023
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by Outside Contributor
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90 Comments
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President Trump sitting for an interview

On Tuesday evening, the Supreme Court of Colorado ruled that former President Donald J. Trump had to be removed from the state ballot, for both the primaries and the general election. They cited Amendment 14, Section 3 of the Constitution of the United States, which states, in relevant part, that candidates are ineligible for office if they “shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion” against the Constitution of the United States. It is unclear whether the provision applies to presidential candidates; it is even more unclear whether such a provision is “self-enforcing,” meaning that any electoral official in any state can simply declare for himself whether a candidate has been an “insurrectionist.”

Nonetheless, the court said it is qualified to determine who is guilty of “insurrection” under the 14th Amendment without any criminal case or impeachment case. And the court says that “the events of January 6 constituted an insurrection and… President Trump engaged in that insurrection.”

On a legal level, this is extraordinarily strained. Section 3 was designed to prohibit those who had served in the Confederacy from holding public office in the United States. The Confederacy, as we know, was an armed rebellion against the United States that ended in the deaths of some 600,000 Americans on both sides. Trump, by contrast, made a series of legal challenges to the election, all of which were denied, and then claimed — on the basis of specious legal reasoning — that the vice president could simply throw out electoral slates that had already been certified. He then called for his supporters to protest at the Capitol building and a riot broke out. This hardly qualifies as an “insurrection,” let alone proving that Trump engaged in one. Trump, let us not forget, has not been charged with insurrection. He was not even convicted in his impeachment trial over Jan. 6.

Yet the Colorado State Supreme Court says it can bar him from electoral eligibility anyway.

This is, to put it mildly, unbelievably dangerous.

It sets up a perverse set of incentives for both political sides.

Trump can and will rightly claim that lawfare has been used to thwart the workings of democracy — that a slate of judges in any state can simply negate the will of the voters, and that President Joe Biden’s own Department of Justice has been attempting to drag him into court before the election in order to stymie his shot at the presidency.

Meanwhile, the Colorado Supreme Court has now set up expectations for Democrats across the country that Trump can be legally barred from the presidency — and when the Supreme Court overturns that Colorado Supreme Court ruling, they will claim that the Supreme Court itself is rigged.

All of which means that 2024 is going to be the most insane and ugly presidential election in American history. And that’s saying a lot, since 1968 and 2020 are both years that existed. Under what circumstances, precisely, would Democrats accept the result of a Trump election? Under what circumstances, precisely, would Republicans accept the result of a Biden election?

The weaponization of the legal system creates an all-consuming fire, burning everything in its path. There is simply no 2024 result likely to result in anything but complete – and perhaps violent — chaos at this point.

Ben Shapiro, 39, is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School, host of “The Ben Shapiro Show,” and co-founder of Daily Wire+. He is a three-time New York Times bestselling author; his latest book is “The Authoritarian Moment: How The Left Weaponized America’s Institutions Against Dissent.” To find out more about Ben Shapiro and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website.

COPYRIGHT 2023 CREATORS.COM

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James DeBona
James DeBona
7 months ago

I fear that we have reached a point in this country by which we can never return. There is no longer respect for fair and clean elections, no respect for the laws of the land, and there is absolutely no respect for the constitution. I pray every day for the sake of my children that we find a way to vanquish the hatred, the lying and the evil from our great nation so that we can get back to truth, civility and productivity. I am extremely disheartened by the four justices on my home states supreme court that decided to go down this very dangerous path, all for the sake of power! We all answer for our actions in the end, and so shall they!

Rik
Rik
7 months ago

If Trump can be “banned” from the Colorado ballot then Jackass Joe Biden can also be “banned” by supporting TREASON!

robert
robert
7 months ago

Red states could simply remove Biden from the ballot for failing to secure the border and taking bribes.

Kim
Kim
7 months ago

Leave it to the dems to do something like this. Trump clearly stated during his speech on Jan. 6 that people can protest “peacefully”. That hardly amounts to something like, “Go fight like he77 to get justice!” Besides, he never was convicted of insurrection.

I am so sick of these dirty politicians. Talk about taking away people’s rights to vote for the person of their choice!! This is voter suppression!! Several more states are trying to do the same stupid thing!

If you look forward to a ski vacation in Colorado after Christmas, consider visiting a different state, boycott their businesses, send your kids to college somewhere else. Don’t spend money in that state and see how quickly Trump’s name reappears on the ballot. Tyranny, again, of the highest order. When will it stop? I’ll answer my own question: It will stop when these extremist half-brains are flushed out of the system. Vote for Conservatives/Republicans up and down the ballot in 2024. And don’t give me this, “Well, I just don’t like Trump” nonsense. Grow up.

Robin W Boyd
Robin W Boyd
7 months ago

If this is allowed to stand, the U.S. has no chance of continuing as a free nation.

Jay
Jay
7 months ago

My simple and probably rhetorical question is, “What insurrection?”

Dan W.
Dan W.
7 months ago

Shapiro makes sense.

Maybe Congress can boot George Santos before he’s convicted in court but they did have a judgment by the ethics committee before the final vote.

In this case, let the voters decide.

Jackie
Jackie
7 months ago

There are so many criminals in Washington D.C. that it’s difficult for me to place Trump outside of that grouping!! If Trump is guilty, fine, but what about all of the other criminals who get away with it because they are a Senator or a Congressman or even a staffer??? I’m tired of seeing these one sided stories where the Republicans are always the bad guys and the Democrats come off as Gods!!! I’m disgusted with the Democrat run federal government and their money grabbing, land grabbing, power grabbing nonsense!!!

Morbious
Morbious
7 months ago

Well, the treason party is working overtime to create structural impediments just in case trump wins, which theyre not going to allow anyway. They’re running hard on abortion. There’s nothing they cherish more. Many dopes and dupes will vote D just to avoid riots. They’ll likely win. What to do now? Move out of blue cities into semirural small towns….while you can.

Patriot Will
Patriot Will
7 months ago

Biden is actually openly destroying our country by refusing to defend us from millions of illegal interlopers who have no respect for our laws and our right to have strong and secure borders. Biden is actively destroying our country’s ability to defend itself from internal and external physical attacks. We have millions of illegals who we know nothing about. Even the head of the FBI admits we are very exposed to potential terrorist attacks. Biden is the true insurrectionist. He has betrayed the American people and made us an increasingly weak and lawless nation. Allowing Biden to rot in jail would be a compassionate sentence for the profoundly treasonous traitor.

Gabe Hanzeli kent wa
Gabe Hanzeli kent wa
7 months ago

The supreme court needs to step in and say stop it. they need to say that he democrat party has weaponized the governemtn against their opponents and that smith’s cases or null and void, the Colorado court ruling is unconstitutional as are the Georgia cases, and the new York cases are baseless and are here by thrown out.

The supreme court needs ot go further and say all DA, Prosecutors, and judges involved need to have their law licenses suspended for no less that 4 years.

This weaponization was used by obama as well. it has become a general tactic of the democrats and it needs to be beaten down now.

Fedup
Fedup
7 months ago

Four members of the Colorado Supreme Court just showed us why they are not qualified to be a judge on ANY court. They should be removed immediately.

Irv C
Irv C
7 months ago

It’s against the constitution AND this is what Hitler did.Something very similar. They say Countries collapse at around 200 to 275 years well we are collapsing and it’s ALL the Democrats. They are all crooks.

Vince
Vince
7 months ago

I can hardly believe this is the USA with this nonsense going with Biden and his cabal. It’s a bad dream! My hope and prayer is that DJT gets back in office and these criminals will be placed where they belong. It’s honestly out of control and the deep state needs some serious pruning.

Thinking
Thinking
7 months ago

The whole governing of the dems under ole Joe is: they are the law they are the constitution and they decide your guilt. Innocence is not considered. You are guilty just because you reject their platform and what they want us Americans to accept.
They talk about democracy leaving America. Of course it is, they don’t want democracy, they want total control over the people. They lie about everything and get upset when the people don’t accept their rhetoric. They decide your guilt or innocence. In meantime they are the biggest criminals by funneling tax money to the Ukraine not for war support but to Zelensky and the Oligarchs
They are destroying western civilization and supporting the 1%. And with help of Soros and other money donors they are succeeding. All judges in blue states have been bought or compromised to render a verdict pro dems. If they don’t death will follow. We are living in a cesspool compared to a swamp years ago. And the sheep are following them right into the muck and mire.

Bill Smith
Bill Smith
7 months ago

Taking and passing a speech class is a requirement in most colleges for obtaining a degree.
How many colleges in the U.S. require taking and passing classes on the U.S. Constitution and the founding of the republic?

Thomas D Booth
Thomas D Booth
7 months ago

There was no insurrection.

Tim Toroian
Tim Toroian
7 months ago

Judges declaring people guilty without a trial happen with third-world dictators and BCE. The left hates the Constitution unless they can use it to screw people.

John
John
7 months ago

Socialist Democrats have waged war on America

James
James
7 months ago

If all qualified candidates are not counted than all ballots from those states should not count

Ronzo
Ronzo
7 months ago

Really? A State Supreme Court ruled against someone who wasn’t convicted of any insurrection. What a load of crap. I’m glad I never moved to Colorado. It would be like moving to California. Nothing but a bunch of communists.

Kyle Buy you some guns,and learn how to shoot
Kyle Buy you some guns,and learn how to shoot
7 months ago

If it say’s engage, Trump did not engage. HE simply wasn’t there. Now we are guilty of thought. Way to go Libs. Kyle L.

JOE SIRACUSA
JOE SIRACUSA
7 months ago

DEMOCRATS SEEM TO HAVE SOMETHING GOING ON ALL THE TIME,BOGUS CRAP/ WHERE ARE THE REPUBLICANS,AND WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO OFFENSE??????????????????

Kyle Buy you some guns,and learn how to shoot
Kyle Buy you some guns,and learn how to shoot
7 months ago

Yeh and one more thing, these Dems . are terrified of Trump. Kyle L.

Moonpup
Moonpup
7 months ago

The headline should have read, “Barring Trump From Ballots Is a Weaponization of an ILLEGAL System”

David Millikan
David Millikan
7 months ago

Excellent article.
Just as it is unconstitutional for Jack Smith who is a civilian and not appointed by the Senate to be a Special Counsel Prosecutor under the DOJ’s so-called authority when no such office officially exists for Special Counsel Prosecutor in the DOJ. The DOJ knew this from the beginning of their Witch Hunts and their intentional election interference. The injustice against President Trump is appalling to say the least.
Under the U.S. Constitution and law the U.S. Supreme Court should side with President Trump.
ALL false accusations and charges against President Trump must be dropped immediately in every case across the board.
Including overturning the recent unconstitutional ruling by Soros controlled all Democrat Colorado State Supreme Court banning President Trump from being on the 2024 Presidential Election ballot.

Sean Rickman
Sean Rickman
7 months ago

That is what you do when you think that this guy just might,or will win and you slimmy kalifornia transplants can’t deal with it,well all that I can say to you is,DEAL with it.

Noname (pronounced No Nam Ee - accent on Nam))
Noname (pronounced No Nam Ee - accent on Nam))
7 months ago

Our nation cannot long survive when it approves the killing of the unborn citizens. That said, I believe that the 2024 election will be just as crooked as the 2020 one. There is no way to safeguard against the enemy is too well infiltrated.
As I suspected, the 2022 midterm elections were LAO tainted according to some sources (Cardinal Mindszenty Foundation). As Pogo the comic strip character said years ago, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”
Of course, if the Republic does fail, we should fight to bring it back even if we lose. Doing so would the honorable thing to do.
My wife and I are in our late 70’s. We are physically unable to run. And even if we could, where would we run to? So we’ll just peacefully say our “Act of Contrition” and meet the bruits who come to our house to take our food and kill us. Perhaps by some miracle we will survive. Not a pretty picture for our retirement years.
But perhaps the Republic will be saved by the banding together of our County Sheriffs as Retired Sheriff Richard Mack is working toward. They would be organized and could lead us to victory over evil. That would be wonderful!
May God bless us all. Let us pray and pass the ammunition! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. “Gloria in excelsis Deo et in terra pax hominibus bonae voluntatis. “(Glory to God in the highest and peace to men of good will.)
Noname

Fredrick
Fredrick
7 months ago

Partisan ruling by judges who should not judges. Very sad for the legal system and the country.

Donald King
Donald King
7 months ago

How about a list of things Trump has been convicted of? I don’t mean things he’s being charged with from the progressive/socialist play book each day. I want to see a list of actual legal convictions arrived at by an unbiased court.

Nancy L. Chinen
Nancy L. Chinen
7 months ago

Our Constitution states this differently! We have a Constitutional Republic of the people, by the people and for the people. If this holds we can kiss our nation goodbye!
NC from Hawaii

Steven
Steven
7 months ago

There was no insurrection on January 6th and everyone with an IQ above 30 knows that for a fact. Did Trump encourage an armed seizure of the Capital? NO. If anyone should be removed from the ballot it is Joe Biden for his treasonous acts of encouraging and allowing millions of unvetted illegal immigrants enter this country. We now have thousands of criminals and terrorists from countries that hate the US in a position to perform terrorist acts inside the country! This is a partisan ploy to keep the number one candidate for the Republican Party off the ballot. If any state election committee does anything like this than they should not be able to participate in the election.

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
7 months ago

Pure Censorship

Steve
Steve
7 months ago

No one has stopped the nutjobs from any other branch so why not the legal system. So the Colorado residents get a spine and write him in . You can politely tell the crook Democrats you won’t stand for it , can tell the paper pushing rag free press and lastly the back side kissing judges what you think of the criminal act all these disgusting parties are engaging in . I would love to see that but , America in Colorado?? Come on Man .

Minnesota Resident
Minnesota Resident
6 months ago

Hitler had the Brown Shirts to secure his election. What can we expect next?

A Voter
A Voter
7 months ago

So we no longer need a conviction to find someone guilty of a crime. We just need the fake news media to say he did it enough times and it becomes true. Colorado does not have a supreme court. They have a Supremely Kangaroo Court.

Randall L. Beatty
Randall L. Beatty
7 months ago

What has happened to this country it used to be good and honest, now we have courts and judges and other people from different states if they do not like someone they take them off the ballot they need to be voted out of office just plain dishonest maybe some do not like Trump but he still has the right to run for office and that means every state in this country.

J. FARLEY
J. FARLEY
7 months ago

No S&&T!

Buck
Buck
7 months ago

Voting is a Constitutional right, and these sorry asshats cannot do this. A million lawsuits are in order.

JML
JML
7 months ago

Goodbye America, it was nice when it lasted.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase
7 months ago

Under what circumstances, precisely, would Republicans accept the result of a Biden election?”
Republicans, AKA, primarily law abiding citizens; held their collective noses and accepted Biden. Not without continuing doubts about the process. Most Americans want a rule-of-law society. Politicians and the LEFT work tirelessly to destroy that.

Orange smell
Orange smell
7 months ago

Now there’s the look of a man who just crapped himself lol

Jullund
Jullund
7 months ago

I don’t believe Trump would ever lead a rebellion “AGAINST” the Constitution of the United States.

Fred
Fred
7 months ago

The Supreme court of the USA should condemn the states from this

Chuck
Chuck
7 months ago

I realize this off-point but the civil war was not “an armed rebellion against the United States “. It was the southern states insistence that they had the right to leave the U.S. under the constitution since they individually and voluntarily came into the union, they retained the right to also leave. The southern states asked for a meeting with Pres Lincoln but he refused to even talk to them. The north had war on its mind. Conspirators from Europe wished to use a war to convert our government from federal government (a combination of individual sovereign states into a federation) to a national government (one nation run by an all-powerful concentration of power in Wash, D.C.).
Just wanted you southerners to be not to upset right before Christmas. Merry Christmas from a northerner.

Betty
Betty
7 months ago

We just might have to secede! Korea did it!

Robert Zuccaro
Robert Zuccaro
7 months ago

The government really is here to help! I mean think of all the time I’ll save NOT VOTING because “my decision” is being made for me. Democrats are getting desperate so, if I were Trump, I wouldn’t accept any “conciliatory” cases of fine Delaware wines sent by Joe Biden. If we’re goingbto be running our elections for Presidential office like Russia, expect a desperation move like Putin!

Marilyn
Marilyn
6 months ago

The decision by the Colorado Supreme Court is nothing but a political move. Since when does a judge get to determine the guilt or innocence on their own without the other side being able to provide evidence? These leftist judges should be removed from office. The Democrats will do anything to stop Trump from running.

Judy Hartig
Judy Hartig
6 months ago

It’s time to take Biden off of the ballot for treason against America. Quit playing defense and start playing offence.  

Nick Patriot
Nick Patriot
6 months ago

What everyone is witnessing happening in the country in real time is the fulfillment of Comrade O’s ” fundamental transformation”. And The GOP is in on it with the MSM, democrats and RINO’S!!

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