Was The Colorado Supreme Court Right About Trump?
The question before the Colorado Supreme Court was, “Can the citizens of Colorado and the State of Colorado deem Presidential Candidate Donald Trump ineligible to run for the office of the President based upon section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment?”
The answer: No. Here is why:
Every State indeed has the authority to judge whether any candidate meets the constitutional qualifications to be on the ballot. If that candidate does not meet the constitutional requirements for qualification, not only does the State have the authority, but it also possesses a duty to deny all unqualified applicants a position on an election ballot.
What Are Those Qualifications?
The constitutional qualifications for President are found in Article 2 section 1 clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution. These qualifications for presidential candidates are as follows:
- Natural Born Citizen
2. 35 years old
3. 14 years a resident of the US
Each candidate must provide legal proof that all three qualifications are met. If you remember all the drama over Barack Obama providing a birth certificate, that was because he had to prove he was a Natural Born Citizen.
Section 3 of the 14th Amendment does not establish a qualification, it establishes a disqualification. This particular disqualification is for any person, “who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection…”
The interesting thing to note is that Insurrection is a federal crime. 18 USC 2383 makes Insurrection a federal crime. It is in this fact alone that the Colorado Supreme Court commits its violation in finding Donald Trump ineligible to be on the Colorado ballot.
First and foremost, the accusation of a federal crime invokes every due process guarantee outlined in the 5th and 6th Amendments. That means that before Donald Trump can be found guilty of Insurrection, he must be guaranteed a full exercise of his right to a public and speedy trial and every due process right associated with that process. The reason we have the 5th and 6th Amendments is so the government cannot make accusations of criminal activity and then apply punishments according to those ACCUSATIONS without any opportunity for the accused to require the government to PROVE those accusations beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of proper jurisdiction.
Secondly, the requirement for a court of proper jurisdiction for a federal crime is a federal court, not a state court. The Colorado Supreme Court has no jurisdiction over the finding of guilt or innocence for a federal crime. To this day, Donald Trump has not been charged with the crime of insurrection in a federal court, much less been offered the right to a speedy and public trial for that accusation.
Thirdly, since there has been no trial convicting Donald Trump of insurrection, the court in Colorado had no legal basis to disqualify him for a violation of section 3 of the 14th Amendment. Remember, the qualifications for holding the office of President outlined in Article 2 all require some form of proof that those qualifications are met. If the Colorado Supreme Court had been doing its job judiciously, it would have required PROOF that the terms of this disqualification were met, namely a CONVICTION for insurrection. Proof of criminal activity in America is only found in the conviction of a court of proper jurisdiction under all the limitations of the right of due process. If the qualification of being 35 years old requires the proof of a birth certificate, it is surely not unreasonable to know that the disqualification for insurrection requires that the crime of insurrection actually occurred.The Colorado court jumped to conclusions of guilt. The guilt of insurrection has NOT been proven.
The Colorado Supreme Court:
• Leapt over due process,
• Leapt over the Constitution, and
• Put politics over the rule of law.
In rendering this Opinion, the Colorado Supreme Court has attempted to set a dangerous precedent by establishing that citizens can make unproven criminal accusations and a court can accept those unadjudicated accusations as convictions to make political determinations. The Court tries to argue that congressional hearings have “proven” insurrection. However, there is no due process in a congressional hearing, and 18 USC 2383 and the US Constitution do not afford criminal convictions based upon informal and nonjudicial opinions absent any due process application whatsoever. America denied the authority of star chamber courts when we ratified the Constitution establishing Article 3.
In the immediate years after the 14th Amendment was passed, not one Confederate general or politician ran for president. No precedent exists that would even indicate the intent behind the 14th Amendment was to prohibit someone from running for office based upon an unproven accusation. Quite to the contrary, Jefferson Davis and Robert E Lee were both scheduled for trial for the accusations of insurrection and rebellion before they were pardoned by Presidents Andrew Johnson and Abraham Lincoln, respectively.
There is not one reasonable-thinking person in America who should support or defend this Opinion from the Supreme Court of Colorado. These justices in the majority should be critically investigated by the Colorado Bar Association for competency at the very least. This is not a Donald Trump issue. This is not a Republican vs. Democrat issue. This is a question of whether America will remain a Constitutional Republic in the eyes of the judiciary; and if we can, for some time yet, retain a justice system built upon the principle of innocent until PROVEN guilty.