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Collins, Williamson criticize Colorado ruling
Mike Collins
U.S. Rep. Mike Collins

Congressman Mike Collins  (R-Jackson) was clear where he stands on Tuesday’s ruling by the Colorado Supreme Court keeping former President Donald Trump off the state’s ballot in 2024.

“The news that Colorado’s Supreme Court has barred former President Trump from the state’s ballot in 2024 is yet another deplorable demonstration that Democrats will do anything to prevent a fair fight at the ballot box,” Collins said. “They’re set on interfering with an election they’re afraid of losing.”

The Colorado Supreme Court ruled 4-3 that former President Trump cannot appear on the March 2024 Colorado Republican presidential primary.

It also said write-ins for him cannot be counted.  The majority opinion is 132 pages and the dissent is 25 pages, according to Ballot Access News.

The case is all but certain to go before the U.S. Supreme Court.

State Rep. Bruce Williamson, who represents Monroe at the State House, was also unhappy with the decision.

“The Colorado Supreme Court ruling removing a political candidate who has not been convicted of any crime, is terrible,” Williamson told The Walton Tribune. “If sustained, it would weaponize state courts to the detriment of our Democratic Republic. Regardless of whichever party has majority control in any of our 50 states, it is a bad idea. I hope the U.S. Supreme Court rules unanimously against it.”

The Colorado Court stayed its own opinion until Jan. 4, probably because it expects Trump to file an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. Assuming Trump does appeal, and the U.S. Supreme Court takes the case, that will be the first ballot access case the court has accepted since it heard State Board of Elections v. Lopez-Torres, which was heard in 2008 and concerned primary ballot access in New York for candidates for delegate to party judicial nominating conventions. In that case the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the candidate and in favor of the state.

Overshadowed by the Colorado ruling was that on the same day the state of North Carolina officials votes to allow Trump on its 2024 ballot.

All other motions to keep the former president off the ballot in various states have failed.

Another recent challenge in Arizona failed to keep Trump off its ballot. The former president will be on Georgia’s GOP presidential primary ballot in March 2024.

Within a day of Colorado’s ruling, Trump said he would appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Republican candidates approved to be on the Colorado ballot include Ryan Binkley, Chris Christie, Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley, Asa Hutchinson, Vivek Ramaswamy and Rachel Hannah “Mohawk” Swift.

Colorado will also feature eight candidates on the Democratic primary ballot for president including Joe Biden, Gabriel Cornejo, Franki Lozada, Stephen P. Lyons, Jason Michael Palmer, Armando “Mando” Perez-Serrato, Dean Phillips and Marianne Williamson.

Some election experts have expressed surprise by the ruling in Colorado as Trump has not been convicted of any crime.

In a split ruling, the Colorado high court ruled there was “clear and convincing evidence that President Trump engaged in insurrection.”

“A majority of the court holds that Trump is disqualified from holding the office of president under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment,” it concluded.

Section 3 disqualifies from federal office people who engage in “insurrection or rebellion” against the Constitution.

It dates from the post-Civil War era and was an attempt to stop people who supported southern states leaving the Union from returning to government posts.

This is the first time Section 3 has been used to disqualify a presidential candidate.

It was a split ruling, 4-3, meaning three judges on the court believe there is no legal basis to exclude Mr. Trump from the ballot.

The lengthy 213-page ruling said Trump’s actions in the build-up to Jan. 6 did constitute insurrection.

His lawyers had argued in Colorado that he should not be disqualified because he did not bear responsibility for the riot.