Back to the 1870s
If you were listening to the Supreme Court on 8 February, you could be forgiven if you came to the conclusion that you had gone back in time. I heard the words “Rebel,” 'Confederate” and “Insurrectionist” more that morning than I had heard them in the last three years!
All because our state of Colorado decided to pull a ridiculous move by excluding Donald Trump from the Presidential Ballot without due process or even charges pending!
If you are wondering what I'm writing about, I am referring to the case filed by Norma Anderson, ex-Majority Leader of Colorado's Lower Chamber in 1998 and ex-Majority Leader of the State Senate in 2003. Anderson is one of many voters in this state who believe that an insurrection can take place when no guns were recovered. The only firearm discharge killed an unarmed civilian, and only one building was involved! Most observers have testified that compared to past actions of Black Lives Matter, the 6 January 2021 incident was better labeled as a riot.
Anderson was recruited by CREW, the liberal and progressive watchdog group based in Washington, DC. CREW has aggressively targeted the Donald Trump administration, filing its first lawsuit against Trump three days after his inauguration as U.S. President. According to New York Magazine, “Since then, it has been launching actions against the administration and its allies in Congress at a rate of about one a day, filing lawsuits and public-record inquiries and lodging complaints with authorities like the Office of Government Ethics.”
In June 2017, the New York Magazine wrote that “CREW is officially nonpartisan, but it's a thin veneer. For the last few years, it has been loosely aligned with a network of organizations, including the super-PAC American Bridge, run by Democratic operative David Brock. After the election, Brock stated in a fund-raising document that CREW's litigation strategy would assure Trump would be 'afflicted by a steady flow of damaging information.'”
It is this organization that recruited Norma Anderson and five other voters to sue President Trump in Colorado in the effort to keep him off the national ballot. It fascinates me why someone believes it is worth affiliating with CREW, whose actions and beliefs run so fundamentally opposite to what she supposedly stands for!
In the two-hour brief before the Supreme Court, Jonathan Mitchell, President Trump's attorney argued in his opening statement that what happened on Jan. 6, 2021, was not an insurrection, “For an insurrection, there needs to be an organized, concerted effort to overthrow the government through violence,” Mitchell said. “This was a riot,” he said. “It was not an insurrection.” Section 3 doesn't specifically mention the President. It bars from office insurrectionists who have previously taken an oath “as an officer of the United States” to “support the Constitution.” Mitchell called the “Office of the United States” a term of art that doesn't refer to federal office holders but only to those who are appointed. Trump also never swore an oath to “support” the Constitution, he argues, because Presidents promise to “preserve, protect and defend” the Constitution. While Trump would “fall through the cracks in a sense,” Mitchell said, if “Officer of the United States” means appointed officials, there's no way he can be covered under Section 3 and even if a candidate admitted to being an insurrectionist, a secretary of state cannot remove him from the ballot because Congress could later absolve him of the disqualification under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, that section allows Congress, with a two-thirds vote, to let an insurrectionist hold office again. That may be unlikely, Mitchell said, but a secretary of state is not allowed to predict whether Congress will act before a candidate assumes the office.
Anderson's Attorney Jason Murrey stated that the reason the Colorado voters he represents brought its challenge is because Trump tried to disenfranchise the millions of Americans who voted against him in 2020, a decision he refused to accept by trying to overturn the results of the election.
As I watched these proceedings, I was amazed that the events of more than 150 years ago would become relevant to modern voters of today. I believe that the Supreme Court will rule in President Trump's favor because this Court is made up of five true Constitutional Lawyers who will not accept the premise that two states, Maine and Colorado can speak for the entire country and deny the other 48 states the right to vote for their candidate.