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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

GOP Secs. of State Ask Colo. Supreme Court to Dismiss Trump ‘Insurrection’ Case

'The weaponization of the Fourteenth Amendment with frivolous lawsuits like the one in Colorado undermines the sanctity of the Constitution and our entire election process....'

(A group of Republican secretaries of state argue a case involving former President Donald Trump’s appearance on the Colorado primary ballot should be dismissed and that a judge shouldn’t have described him as an “insurrectionist.”

Earlier this month, Colorado District Court Judge Sarah Wallace ruled the U.S. Constitution doesn’t allow Trump to be removed from the state’s presidential primary ballot.

However, Wallace wrote Trump’s remarks on Jan. 6, 2021, “incited imminent lawless violence” and described him as an “insurrectionist.”

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, the organization filing the lawsuit to remove Trump, acknowledged the case would probably end up at the Colorado Supreme Court after Wallace’s ruling.

On Wednesday, Republican secretaries of state Chuck Gray of Wyoming, Jay Ashcroft of Missouri and Frank LaRose of Ohio filed a 14-page brief with the Colorado Supreme Court requesting the District Court’s final order be thrown out, arguing it “should have decided this matter on a motion to dismiss, rather than declare President Trump an ‘insurrectionist.'”

LaRose is running for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat held by Democrat Sherrod Brown in Ohio. Ashcroft is running for the party’s nomination for governor in Missouri as Republican Gov. Mike Parson is term limited.

Similar lawsuits arguing Trump violated the 14th Amendment were filed in Minnesota and Michigan. The Minnesota Supreme Court dismissed a case seeking to remove Trump and ruled the state doesn’t have the authority to prevent the Republicans from placing a candidate on the ballot. The group Free Speech for People is appealing a ruling in favor of Trump in Michigan.

“I have been and will continue to work to protect the right of the voters to decide who represents them,” Gray said in a statement. “The weaponization of the Fourteenth Amendment with frivolous lawsuits like the one in Colorado undermines the sanctity of the Constitution and our entire election process.”

District Court’s finding of Trump’s actions on Jan. 6, 2021, could possibly prejudice cases involving Trump “when this issue inevitably arises in other jurisdictions,” the brief states. “Cases such as this one have been filed in over half of the states in the United States, with more possible to follow.”

The secretaries of state argue what happens in one state will affect all primary elections.

“Such removal not only affects that state’s election but also has far-reaching ramifications in other states, by artificially altering momentum in relation to primaries and caucuses; therefore, affecting the entire process,” the brief states. “Thus, the District Court’s decision threatens the integrity of the electoral process the undersigned Secretaries undertook to defend.”

The brief contends the District Court ruling could “justify excluding a presidential candidate from the ballot, thereby directly impinging upon the electorate’s freedom to choose their leader.”

The brief also criticizes the District Court for allowing the Congressional January 6th Report from being entered into evidence. It contends the committee had no appointed Republicans and its “bias has become increasingly clear as more security camera footage of January 6th continues to be release to the general public.”

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