Critics slam Colorado Supreme Court for removing Trump from state’s 2024 ballot: ‘A mockery’

Republicans and other allies of former President Donald Trump are slamming the Colorado Supreme Court for removing him from the state’s 2024 ballot. 

The divided court declared that Trump was ineligible for the White House under the U.S. Constitution’s insurrection clause and removed him from the state’s presidential primary ballot, setting up a likely showdown in the nation’s highest court to decide whether the front-runner for the GOP nomination can remain in the race.

Former President Donald Trump speaks during a rally Sunday, Dec. 17, 2023, in Reno, Nev.  (AP Photo/Godofredo A. Vásquez)

Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who ran against Trump in the 2016 presidential election, called the ruling “garbage,” and predicted it would be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. 

El Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele said the United States had effectively relinquished its role of promoting democracy abroad. 

Trump’s youngest son, Eric Trump, said the Court’s decision would add five percentage points to his father’s “already runaway polls.” 

Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina likewise predicted the ruling would only make Trump stronger in the polls. 

Republican Party Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said the Court’s decision amounted to “election interference.” 

“This irresponsible ruling will be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court and our legal team looks forward to helping fight for a victory,” McDaniel tweeted. “The Republican nominee will be decided by Republican voters, not a partisan state court.” 

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GOP Rep. Dan Crenshaw of Texas called on the U.S. Supreme Court to “set this right,” saying that only “American citizens have the right to vote for whoever they want. That’s democracy.” 

Actor James Woods argued that Trump has yet to be found guilty of any crime, much less “convicted of insurrection.” 

GOP Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina said the Court’s decision had made “a mockery of our political system.” 

He vowed to introduce a bill that would “stop this nonsense and ensure any constitutional challenges go to the sole place they belong: the U.S. Supreme Court.” 

Vivek Ramaswamy, a Republican contender in the 2024 presidential election, called the decision “un-American, unconstitutional, and unprecedented.” 

After the decision, he vowed to withdraw his name from the Colorado primary ballot unless Trump was reinstated. The Colorado Republican Party said that wouldn’t be necessary because “we will withdraw from the Primary as a Party and convert to a pure caucus system if this is allowed to stand.” 

Fellow GOP contender in the 2024 race, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, called out the Left for invoking Democracy “to justify its use of power, even if it means abusing power to remove a candidate from the ballot based on spurious legal grounds. SCOTUS should reverse.” 

Former Democratic Congresswoman and 2020 presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard said that Democratic leaders “have completely lost faith in democracy.” 

Fox News contributor Katie Pavlich likened removing a top political rival from the ballot to “third world, country ending stuff.”  

Journalist Matt Taibbi called the court’s ruling a “major escalation of the lawfare phenomenon that’s zoomed from simmer to boil in the seven short years since Trump was first elected in 2016.” 

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The decision from a court whose justices were all appointed by Democratic governors marks the first time in history that Section 3 of the 14th Amendment has been used to disqualify a presidential candidate.

Former President Donald Trump

Acevedo maintained he gave Trump a “fair platform” that would allow viewers to judge him for themselves. (Michael Nagle/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

“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 in its 4-3 decision.

Colorado’s highest court overturned a ruling from a district court judge who found that Trump incited an insurrection for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol, but said he could not be barred from the ballot because it was unclear that the provision was intended to cover the presidency.

The court stayed its decision until Jan. 4, or until the U.S. Supreme Court rules on the case. Colorado officials said the issue must be settled by Jan. 5, the deadline for the state to print its presidential primary ballots.

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“We do not reach these conclusions lightly,” wrote the court’s majority. “We are mindful of the magnitude and weight of the questions now before us. We are likewise mindful of our solemn duty to apply the law, without fear or favor, and without being swayed by public reaction to the decisions that the law mandates we reach.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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