Legal scholar Jonathan Turley blasts Colorado Supreme Court decision to remove Trump from Republican primary ballot
12/25/2023 // Ethan Huff // Views

The Colorado Supreme Court has decided to axe Donald Trump from the state's 2024 Republican primary ballot, and legal scholar Jonathan Turley thinks this is a mistake.

In an appearance on Fox News this week, Turley stated that the court is doing the bidding of the establishment by barring Trump from the ballot and thus decreasing his chances of a victory.

"Well, this court just handed partisans on both sides the ultimate tool to try to shortcut elections, and it's very, very dangerous," Turley said.

"I mean, this country is a powder keg, and this court is just throwing matches at it. And I think that it's a real mistake. But I think that they're wrong on the law."

The court's argument maintains that Trump violated the insurrectionist clause of the 14th Amendment with the role he played in the January 6 "insurrection." Colorado's Supreme Court, with a majority of Democrat-appointed justices, ultimately sided against Trump on the matter in a 4-3 decision.

In Turley's view, the ruling endangers American democracy. It is also a mischaracterization of what took place on January 6, which Turley says had nothing to do with an insurrection.

"You know, January 6 was many things, most of it not good," Turley told Laura Ingraham. "In my view, it was not an insurrection. It was a riot."

(Related: During COVID, Turley warned that the CDC was changing its story on face masks – first they were unnecessary; then face coverings became a matter of life or death.)

Colorado Supreme Court issued "most anti-democratic opinion" Turley has ever seen

Holding January 6 rioters accountable for what they did is one thing, but keeping Trump off the Colorado ballot entirely because of it is something else that Turley says is wrong.

"That doesn't mean that the people responsible for that day shouldn't be held accountable," Turley clarified. "But to call this an insurrection for the purposes of disqualification would create a slippery slope for every state in the Union."

What the ruling does is create a major stumbling block for a free and fair election in 2024, which is critical after what happened in 2020 that called into question the legitimacy of American elections.

"This is a time when we actually need democracy," Turley explained. "We need to allow the voters to vote. We need to hear their decision. And the court here just said, 'You're not going to get that in Colorado. We're not going to let you vote for Donald Trump.'"

"And, you know, you can dislike Trump; you can believe he's responsible for January 6, but this isn't the way to do it. I mean, it is, you know, for the people that say they're trying to protect democracy. This is hands down the most anti-democratic opinion I've seen in my life."

The 14th Amendment, as cited by the court, prohibits officials from seeking future office in the event that they have "engaged in insurrection." The Colorado Supreme Court decided that Trump did precisely that, meaning he is now disqualified from ever again being president.

"A majority of the court holds that Trump is disqualified from holding the office of president under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment," the court wrote.

This marks the first time in the history of the Constitution that the "insurrection clause" has been used to disqualify a presidential candidate. Trump is now planning to appeal the decision to the federal Supreme Court, according to Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung.

"We have full confidence that the U.S. Supreme Court will quickly rule in our favor and finally put an end to these unamerican lawsuits."

More of the latest news about Trump's fight for the presidency in 2024 can be found at

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