Donald Trump Former federal judge J. Michael Luttig denies accusations of political bias in the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision to disqualify ex-President Donald Trump from the state’s primary ballot. The unprecedented ruling asserts that Trump, through attempts to overturn the 2020 election, automatically disqualified himself from seeking a second term.
Constitutional Foundation for Disqualification
In an interview with MSNBC, Luttig addresses concerns about the perceived anti-democratic nature of disqualifying the 2024 Republican frontrunner. He emphasizes that the Constitution itself dictates the disqualification process, making it inherently democratic and not influenced by political actors.
Clear Constitutional Grounds: Donald Trump
Luttig criticizes the politicization of the issue, stating, “It’s the Constitution of the United States that’s disqualifying the former president from higher office, if he is to be disqualified.” He asserts that the Constitution explicitly outlines the conduct, such as insurrection or rebellion, that can lead to disqualification.
Legal Puzzle: Insurrection Clause
The legal debate centers around the interpretation of the Constitution’s insurrection clause and whether Trump incited an insurrection during the Capitol storming on January 6, 2021.
Colorado Supreme Court’s Decisive Ruling
While a district judge argued that the 14th Amendment’s provision did not apply to a sitting president, the Colorado Supreme Court, in a 4-3 ruling, rejected this interpretation. They assert that the provision does apply to the former president, acknowledging the weight of the decision and their duty to apply the law impartially.
In their ruling, the court states, “We do not reach these conclusions lightly…our solemn duty to apply the law, without fear or favor, and without being swayed by public reaction.”