Legal analyst has ‘a lot of concerns’ after Colorado’s Trump ruling

Dec 20, 2023, 2:46 PM | Updated: 5:20 pm

FILE - Former President Donald Trump speaks during a rally Sunday, Dec. 17, 2023, in Reno, Nev. The...

FILE - Former President Donald Trump speaks during a rally Sunday, Dec. 17, 2023, in Reno, Nev. The Colorado Supreme Court on Tuesday, Dec. 19, declared Trump ineligible for the White House under the U.S. Constitution’s insurrection clause and removed him from the state’s presidential primary ballot, setting up a likely showdown in the nation’s highest court to decide whether the front-runner for the GOP nomination can remain in the race. (AP Photo/Godofredo A. Vásquez, File)

(AP Photo/Godofredo A. Vásquez, File)

Many are reeling after a new decision from the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that former President Donald Trump will not be allowed on the state’s primary ballot in the 2024 presidential election.

In a 4-3 ruling, the State Supreme Court ruled that Trump was ineligible for the White House under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, also called the U.S. Constitution’s insurrection clause.

More on Colorado Supreme Court ruling: We’re in political legal limbo after Colorado’s Trump decision

“A majority of the court holds that Trump is disqualified from holding the office of president under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment,” the court wrote in its 4-3 decision.

On The Gee and Ursula Show, host Gee Scott and guest host Jake Skorheim tried to get to the bottom of the law that, frankly, Jake admits he wasn’t even aware of until Wednesday morning. Legal analyst Ashlynn Mejia joined the show to help explain the law and try to make sense of how this affects next year’s election.

“I have to say my first initial thoughts were, ‘Oh, no, what kind of door has just been opened?'” Mejia said. “We’ve talked about politics a lot. And you know very well that I’m not usually the first to jump up and defend Donald Trump. That’s not really where my politics tend to lie, but I just have a lot of concerns and worries about what this means for democracy moving forward.”

The U.S. Constitution prohibits anyone who swore an oath to support the Constitution and then “engaged in insurrection” against it from holding office. It was written to keep former confederates from returning to government office, but this is the first time that it was used to affect a presidential campaign.

As it stands now, the ruling only affects Colorado ballots, and several other states have made announcements that Trump would remain on the ballot in their state’s primary or caucus.

Trump has already promised that he will appeal the case to be heard in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. Trump’s legal spokeswoman, Alina Habba, said in a statement to the Associated Press Tuesday night: “This ruling, issued by the Colorado Supreme Court, attacks the very heart of this nation’s democracy. It will not stand, and we trust that the Supreme Court will reverse this unconstitutional order.”

Mejia further said that she sees the issue as one that should be decided in an election and that it was undemocratic to have a court make rulings that would impact the election this heavily, possibly setting a dangerous precedent.

“By and large, as individuals, if we have an issue or a problem with the Supreme Court members, there’s nothing we, the people, can really do about it; it’s a largely unchecked power,” Mejia said. “So if seven individuals who are not elected by the people take an election decision away from the people, it kind of gives me room to pause and be a little bit nervous about what that means. ”

Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel labeled the decision “election interference” and said the RNC’s legal team intends to help Trump fight the ruling.

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“They even said in their decision this is uncharted grounds. This is brand new, legal territory that we’re entering here. So, I would certainly imagine that other states are going to be looking at it to see if they should be doing the same thing,” Mejia said. “This might sound great right now if you’re not a Donald Trump fan. But what happens when it is a politician that you do support?”

So, how is the Supreme Court going to rule on the appeal? Mejia said she is ‘honestly not sure’ and anything could happen, but no matter what, the ruling will likely come soon. Colorado officials say the issue must be settled by Jan. 5, the deadline for the state to print its presidential primary ballots.

Listen to Gee Scott and Ursula Reutin weekday mornings from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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