In light of the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision to remove former President Donald Trump from the state’s 2024 ballot, citing the “insurrection” clause of the 14th Amendment, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has suggested that his state should consider removing President Joe Biden from the same ballot.
“Seeing what happened in Colorado tonight…makes me think—except we believe in democracy in Texas—maybe we should take Joe Biden off the ballot in Texas for allowing 8 million people to cross the border since he’s been president, disrupting our state far more than anything anyone else has done in recent history,” Patrick said.
Lt. Gov. Patrick made these remarks during a discussion about a bill being worked on by the state legislature, which aims to enable the arrest of individuals who illegally cross into the United States through Texas. The Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling, which resulted in a 4-3 verdict, deemed Trump ineligible to run based on the aforementioned clause.
The decision in Colorado will remain on hold until January 4th, pending an appeal. It is hoped that the US Supreme Court will hear the case and reach a final decision by that date. This landmark decision will have significant implications for the 2024 presidential race, despite its limited application to Colorado. Officials in Colorado’s election office have emphasized the need for a resolution by January 5th, which is the statutory deadline for determining the Republican primary contenders.
The 14th Amendment, ratified after the Civil War, prohibits individuals “engaged in insurrection” from holding public office if they have pledged allegiance to the Constitution. However, this provision, although vaguely worded and not specifically mentioning the presidency, has only been applied twice since 1919.
All seven justices of Colorado’s highest court were appointed by Democratic governors. Six of them successfully won statewide retention elections to remain on the bench, while the seventh judge, appointed in 2021, has not yet faced a vote. Former President Trump has criticized the 14th Amendment litigation, considering it an abuse of the judicial process. He has pleaded not guilty to federal and state charges related to his efforts to overturn the 2020 election.
During his campaign for the Republican nomination in 2024, Trump has denounced the lawsuits, alleging that they are an attempt to use the courts to prevent him from running again.
Prior to this unprecedented ruling, numerous parties, including more than a dozen Republican-controlled states’ attorneys general, have filed briefs challenging Trump’s constitutional eligibility to appear on Colorado’s 2024 ballot. Trump expressed his disapproval of the decision on his Truth Social platform, sharing reactions from conservative and legal experts who were surprised by the action taken by the Colorado court.
“This is ELECTION RIGGING…This is an effort, make no mistake, to deprive American voters of their right to make the decision as to who should be president. It is anti-democratic. It’s the equivalent of rigging the ballot box,” Fox News legal analyst Gregg Jarrett said.
“They don’t want the voters to decide this…there is obviously this deep fear of Donald Trump potentially winning the White House back,” Ned Ryun, the founder and CEO of the conservative American Majority organization.
“Democrats in Colorado are so afraid of allowing American voters to vote and pick the next president they are willing to do extra-judicial things in order to thwart the people’s choice from being on the ballot,” Fox contributor Charlie Hurt added. “To them, preserving democracy requires destroying democracy.”
Constitutional law professor and expert Jonathan Turley noted as well: “This country is a powder keg and this court is just throwing matches at it…for people that say they are trying to protect democracy, this is hands down the most anti-democratic opinion I’ve seen in my lifetime.”