In a contentious decision, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled to exclude former President Donald Trump from the state’s primary ballot, sparking a heated debate over democratic principles. The ruling, which passed with a narrow 4-3 majority, faced strong opposition from within the court, particularly from Justice Carlos Samour, one of the court’s justices appointed by Democrats.
Justices Samour, Maria Berkenkotter, and Chief Justice Brian D. Boatright, all voiced their disagreement, with Samour’s critique being notably vehement. Both Samour and Boatright were appointed by former Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper, whereas Berkenkotter was appointed by the current Democratic Governor Jared Polis.
Justice Samour expressed his concerns about the ruling’s impact on due process, emphasizing that even in cases where a candidate is believed to have committed serious offenses, proper legal procedures must be followed before disqualification. He further warned that allowing states to make individual decisions on candidate eligibility could lead to national confusion and inconsistency, potentially causing chaos if states are divided on the legitimacy of a winning presidential candidate.
“This can’t possibly be what the framers of our Constitution intended,” Samour argued, stressing the importance of adhering to foundational democratic principles.
The Trump campaign has been quick to respond, announcing plans to promptly challenge the ruling in the U.S. Supreme Court. Trump campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung confidently stated that the Supreme Court would likely overturn the Colorado court’s decision, citing the dismissal of similar attempts in other states, including those politically aligned with the Democratic Party.
“The Colorado Supreme Court’s decision tonight is fundamentally flawed, and we will immediately seek a reversal from the U.S. Supreme Court, along with a request for a stay against this undemocratic ruling,” Cheung said in a statement.
Despite the backlash, the majority of the Colorado Supreme Court defended their decision, acknowledging its gravity and the careful consideration that went into it. They emphasized their commitment to applying the law impartially, regardless of public opinion or the potential fallout of their verdict. The majority opinion stated that President Trump’s actions went beyond mere incitement of the insurrection, highlighting his continued support for the unrest at the Capitol and efforts to influence the electoral vote counting process.