Trump’s talks about “dictatorships” lately.
“This is how dictatorships are born.” Yet another response from Donald Trump to the news that the Colorado Supreme Court had ruled that former president Trump was disqualified from holding office and should therefore be removed from the country’s main Republican vote.
Whenever Donald Trump says about “dictatorships” lately we should always pay attention. But, however, he spoke of his intention to talk about a dictatorial regime if he wins in 2024. It is not clear whether, then, his statement, in a fundraising situation that skyrocketed minutes after the news was released, had the opinion meaning a condemnation of the decision or a prediction of how he would deal with such legal setbacks if he were returned to the White House.
The spectatorship of a dictatorial Trump using the presidency to undermine the rule of law in a situation of political punishment explains why millions of people still continue to cling to the hope that our judicial system will save us from an electoral reckoning with Donald Trump . Already, Biden continues to suffer inexplicably low poll numbers, while Trump has managed to turn the arrest count into a campaign fundraising bulldozer. None of this translates into Trump defeating Biden in the standard national vote in 2024. But as we already know, he shouldn’t. Our extremely flawed Electoral School could once again hand the presidency to Donald Trump.
Is there hope that our judicial system will isolate us?
And hence this hope that our judicial system will shield us from the evils of our electoral system and our personal failings as democratic citizens. And although, understandably, hope will not find an answer in yesterday’s decision. This is not because the Colorado Supreme Court reached the wrong decision.
In reality, the decision, which focused on the court’s interpretation of the 14th edition’s rebellion clause, was correct and courageous. A lower court in Colorado had already ruled that Donald Trump had engaged in a rebellion on January 6, 2021, however, it concluded that the 14th amendment’s prohibition against rebels from holding office did not apply to the presidency.
The Colorado Supreme Court had little trouble rejecting this latter conclusion. To question, the court looked at that the 14th modification, ratified in the wake of the civil conflict, “disqualifies all oath-breaking insurrectionists except the most powerful, and which bans oath-breakers from virtually all places of service, all states and federal, in addition to the best in the country” can be completely absurd (italics actually).
The court’s conclusion for Trump.
And the court’s verdict concluded that Trump is “disqualified to hold the office of president” and directed the Colorado Secretary of State to remove his name from the main presidential vote.
It is well known that the agenda of the 7-member court was divided, with 3 dissenters questioning whether Donald Trump could be disqualified without having first been convicted of participating in a riot. This court itself maintained its personal decision until the beginning of 2024, anticipating the appeal already filed by Trump. And so this complicated situation will inevitably fall into the lap of the US Supreme Court.
How will the judicial process proceed? In such a perfect world, you will support Colorado’s decision and achieve this unanimously. A unanimous decision, handed down by a court comprised of 3 Trump appointees – Brett Kavanaugh, Neil Gorsuch, and Amy Coney Barrett – and one of them, the ethically challenged and ideologically rigid Clarence Thomas, whose partner was a dedicated advocate of “cease the theft”. ” activist, could likely climate the storm of protests and civil unrest that such a historic decision would trigger.
This type of decision is on the Supreme Court’s agenda.
Unfortunately, no decision in this situation will occur on this Supreme Court agenda. This court will predictably reject the Colorado ruling, insisting that Donald Trump’s name be placed back on the ballot. I say this not because the court is essentially beholden to Donald Trump, but because it is already hit by traditionally small and largely self-inflicted approval ratings (see its decision in Dobbs, removing the constitutional right to abortion; and Bruen, increasing the possession of firearms a basic right), would hide behind judicial modesty, insisting that voters, and never unelected judges, would have the final say on Donald Trump’s health in the place of duty.
But by refusing to intervene, however, the court will not be able to escape the damaging appearance of heightened partisanship. The court has already been asked to evaluate Donald Trump’s claim that he enjoys “absolute immunity” from prosecution, an argument that, if accepted, would derail his federal trial in Washington DC, tentatively scheduled to begin on March 4, 2024. for conspiring to defraud the US by seeking to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. And it has already agreed to assess the extent to which the Jan. 6 rioters obstructed an official continuation, an issue also central to the federal case against Trump.
While it’s hard to imagine the court accepting Trump’s untenably broad immunity argument, it’s easier to imagine it ruling in a way that could work to the benefit of Trump’s tried-and-true legal strategy of delay, delay, delay. So while the Supreme Court may avoid a reckoning with Trump, there will be no escape for the American people.
Lawrence Douglas is the creator, most recently, of Will He Go? Trump and the impending electoral meltdown in 2020. He is a contributing opinion writer for the US Guardian and teaches at Amherst School