December 5, 2023

Early this year, a number of far left activist groups vowed to bring lawsuits against election officials in states that dared to include former President Trump on their 2024 presidential ballots. This threat was, of course, issued pursuant to the fringe claim that he incited an “insurrection” on Jan. 6, 2021 and is therefore barred by Section 3 of the 14th Amendment from holding any public office at the state or federal level. Several states have already been subjected to such lawsuits, most of which were summarily dismissed. Litigation continues, however, in Colorado, Michigan and Minnesota. Moreover, there is a very real possibility that at least one of these lawsuits will succeed.

The Democrats and their Soros-funded surrogates are clearly afraid they can’t win in 2024 if former President Trump is the GOP nominee.

Anderson v. Griswold, for example, is a Colorado lawsuit argued last week before Denver District Court Judge Sarah Wallace. The litigation was brought on behalf of several never-Trump Republicans by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a legal advocacy group funded in large part by George Soros, according to InfluenceWatch. The consensus among constitutional scholars has long been that Section 3 was meant only to prevent former Confederate officials from holding office after the Civil War. One attempt to deploy it against a Socialist congressional candidate was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1921. This is how CREW justifies this latest attempt to exhume Section 3:

While Section 3 has not been tested often in the last 150 years, due to lack of insurrections, last year CREW represented residents of New Mexico who sued to remove county commissioner Couy Griffin from office, the only successful case to be brought under Section 3 since 1869. The judge in that case determined January 6th was an insurrection under the Constitution and that someone who helped to incite it … had engaged in insurrection and was disqualified from office.

Couy Griffin’s case is instructive. Though present at the Jan. 6 rally, he neither entered the Capitol building nor engaged in disorderly conduct. Griffin was nonetheless convicted of a misdemeanor trespassing charge. Well over a year after returning to New Mexico, where he served as an Otero County Commissioner, Griffin was summoned to a Santa Fe courtroom to face a phalanx of CREW lawyers representing 3 plaintiffs none of whom were his constituents. After a two-day bench trial, District Court Judge Francis J. Mathew arbitrarily declared the Jan. 6 riot an “insurrection,” ordered Griffin removed from his seat on the Otero County Commission, and enjoined him from holding any public office in the future. (READ MORE from David Catron: Is Mike Johnson Really Dr. Evil?)

Most important for CREW’s agenda was the judge’s declaration that the Jan. 6 melee constituted an insurrection. This is the only time any court anywhere has done so. This matters because Trump was acquitted by the Senate of inciting insurrection and no defendant involved in the Capitol mayhem was charged by the Justice Department with that crime. Now, if Judge Wallace rules for the plaintiffs in Anderson v. Griswold, she can cite at least one precedent. This would be pretty weak, but Wallace isn’t politically neutral. She has, for example, donated money to the Political Action Committee Colorado Turnout Project. The PAC’s self-described goal is to eradicate Republicans from Colorado’s congressional delegation.

The Colorado Turnout Project is a coalition of Colorado students, activists, veterans, and Coloradans from all walks of life who are fed up with the complicity of Colorado’s Republican representatives in our nation’s venomous political atmosphere …The Colorado Turnout Project aims to prevent violent insurrections by addressing this problem at its source — if we vote out pariahs like Representative Boebert, we can turn CO Blue once and for all.

Judge Wallace’s conflicts of interest don’t end with her small ($100) donation to the Colorado Turnout Project. Michael Karlik reports in Colorado Politics that the judge has also contributed to the campaign of Secretary of State Jena Griswold, who is a party to the very ballot access case over which Wallace has been presiding. When Trump attorney Scott Gessler introduced a motion seeking Judge Wallace’s recusal, she denied it on the basis that prior to the start of litigation she had formed no opinion on whether Trump “engaged in an insurrection or, for that matter, any of the issues that need to be decided in this hearing.” As Karlik points out, that does not meet the legal standard set out in Colorado’s code of judicial conduct.

Closing arguments in Anderson v. Griswold will take place on Nov. 15 and Judge Wallace will probably issue her ruling before Thanksgiving. If she denies Trump a place on Colorado’s primary ballot, it will lead to chaos. Trump would appeal the ruling to the state Supreme Court, of course, and if he loses there the U.S. Supreme Court would presumably take up the case. But the meter is running. In Colorado, the primary ballots must be printed by February 2, 2024. That leaves little time for Trump’s legal team to prepare for appeals in two courts. If the courts move at their usual glacial pace, 1.4 million Colorado voters who pulled the lever for Trump in 2020 may well have no voice in the 2024 Republican nomination process. (READ MORE from David Catron: SCOTUS Takes Up Free Speech Case)

The main effect of the Section 3 legal gimmick will be to make the presidential election in the Centennial State less democratic than it has been for generations. Despite all the rhetoric about “saving democracy,” it’s pretty obvious that the Democrat effort to disqualify the leading GOP candidate from appearing on the ballot is meant to achieve the opposite. It is of a piece with the frivolous lawsuits Trump has been forced to fight. The Democrats and their Soros-funded surrogates are clearly afraid they can’t win in 2024 if former President Trump is the GOP nominee and their candidate is the politically moribund incumbent.