Now that Thanksgiving is upon us, there may actually be news to be thankful for. Colorado’s Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal by voters who are intent on having Donald Trump removed from the state’s 2024 presidential ballot. The good news is that one lower-court judge has already agreed that Trump took an active role in encouraging the January 6 Capitol attack and sought to overthrow the 2020 election result, Newsweek reports.
Trump is, of course, appealing the insurrection ruling and the Colorado Supreme Court has decided to hear both appeals together. The court is reviewing an appeal that challenges the lower court’s decision to keep the ex-president on the ballot even though it found him guilty of insurrection. Quite obviously this is a legal contradiction that the higher court needs to resolve, Newsweek reports. Now that the lower court has found that Trump actively encouraged the insurrection, his position looks considerably more unstable. And legal experts also say that findings like this are rarely overturned on appeal, so that means the plaintiffs have a robust case against the former president’s eligibility.
This has all the earmarks of a landmark case. Experts view it as a crucial test of legal principles and argue that the Colorado Supreme Court has weighty grounds to disqualify Trump based on the lower court’s revelations, even as Trump continues to appeal the insurrection ruling.
In an interview with MSNBC host Jen Psaki, Neal Katyal, a former acting solicitor general, said the finding by the lower court will be hard to overturn.
“There’s a factual finding, which is that Trump committed insurrection,” Katyal told Psaki.
“On appeals, the factual findings get massive deference by the appeals court. it’s almost impossible to overturn a trial judge’s factual finding.”
This is definitely terrible news for Trump, he noted, saying this was “the very worst decision Trump could get.”
I don’t know about you, but my heart always sings a little bit whenever Trump gets bad news.
Katyal was appointed to serve as acting solicitor general by former President Barack Obama in 2010 and has been described by CNN as a “liberal, Obama Admin Official.”
He notes that for the time being, the ruling by District Judge Sarah B. Wallace last Friday has kept Trump on the Colorado ballot but it may cause him plenty of trouble with the Colorado Supreme Court.
Former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner is definitely no fan of the former president, and on Wednesday he said the Colorado Supreme Court should boot Trump off the ballot.
In a video post on X, Kirschner, now a legal analyst for MSNBC, said the lower court finding that Trump was an insurrection and yet stay on the ballot “made no damn sense.”
Both sides have now appealed the Colorado judge’s ruling: Trump appealed her finding that he engaged in an insurrection, & the voters have appealed her finding that the 14th Amendment does NOT disqualify him from holding office in the future (check your common sense at the door). pic.twitter.com/VknvxFtvkE
— Glenn Kirschner (@glennkirschner2) November 22, 2023
Naturally, Trump is not happy with this. He has adamantly criticized the lawsuit, asserting that it’s an effort to disenfranchise voters. He praised the lower court’s decision to let him stay on the ballot and of course, derided the plaintiffs and their supporters and overall remained combative.
Talking to a crowd at a high school in Fort Dodge, Iowa, last Saturday, he claimed Democrats, their allies, and the media are “having an absolute meltdown because last night our campaign won a gigantic court victory in Colorado.”
And he vented further vitriol, saying that the lawsuit is “an outrageous attempt to disenfranchise millions of voters by getting us thrown off the ballot.”
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed the case on behalf of a group of Republican and independent voters, and as you might expect, Trump reserved special criticism here, calling the group a “bunch of losers.”
Steven Cheung, a spokesman for Trump said in a statement following Judge Wallace’s ruling last week that it was “another nail in the coffin of the un-American ballot challenges.”
This comes at a time when recent polls in the state show the race between Trump and President Joe Biden tightening up. The change in public opinion shows how politically significant this legal battle over Trump’s ballot eligibility is.
Biden beat Trump in Colorado by 55 percent to 41 percent in 2020, claiming all nine electoral college votes, but now it looks like Trump’s popularity is on the rise. An Emerson College poll conducted in early October shows Biden leading Trump by 42 to 38 percent, with a margin of four points. That’s a tighter margin since an Emerson College poll conducted in September showed Biden leading Trump by more than 10 points, at 46 percent to Trump’s 36 percent.
The Colorado Supreme Court has definitely made this a huge priority, expediting the case and requiring Trump’s legal team to submit their brief soon. Oral arguments are scheduled for December 6. The court’s decision may definitely impact the 2024 ballot, meaning there will be a substantial change because one notable key player missing.
So that’s something to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.