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President Trump will be on the Colorado ballot. That’s the determination in the case where some Democrats and NT Republicans sought to have Trump banned under an interpretation of the 14th Amendment barring insurrectionists from public office.
That’s the good news. The bad news? According to the Associated Press —
Huh? The judge says Trump is an insurrectionist, but he can still be on the ballot?
In her decision, Wallace said she found that Trump did in fact “engage in insurrection” on Jan. 6 and rejected his attorneys’ arguments that he was simply engaging in free speech. Normally, that would be enough to disqualify him under Section 3, but she said she couldn’t do so for a presidential candidate.
Section 3 does not specifically refer to the presidency, as it does members of the U.S. Senate or House of Representatives. Instead, the clause refers to “elector of President and Vice President,” along with civil and military offices.
“Part of the Court’s decision is its reluctance to embrace an interpretation which would disqualify a presidential candidate without a clear, unmistakable indication that such is the intent of Section Three,” the judge wrote in the 102-page ruling.
So, even granting the plaintiff’s most favorable understanding of the facts, the law does not grant them the remedy they requested. That is the standard for summary judgment in favor of a defendant. But the judge held a multi-day hearing with witnesses arguing about Trump’s conduct, whether he called for peaceful demonstrations, whether he offered up the national guard that Pelosi declined, whether his failure to tweet out to demonstrators to leave the capitol (as opposed to his tweets for them to respect law enforcement) was evidence of culpability, and so on and so forth. And then the judge rules that the plaintiffs had no legal right to the remedy they sought.
In other words, the hearing was totally unnecessary. It was only conducted to give voice to NT propaganda. The judge permitted the hearing because she sided with the plaintiffs on the facts (shaky as they are) because she shares the political bias of the plaintiffs and wanted that “case” out there for the voters. But then, dear me, she just couldn’t grant the plaintiffs the remedy they sought because, you know, the law. (She knew ruling otherwise would get the case overturned on appeal.)
So she did the next best thing: You can’t appeal the public rantings of the judge when she rules in your favor. She can inflict pain without recourse.Published in