Follow Us

Colorado ruling wipes Trump off 2024 primary ballot, sparking GOP outrage and predictions of surge

"The 'pro-democracy' party at work. How ridiculous," responded House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan.

Published: December 19, 2023 11:10pm

The decision Tuesday evening by Colorado's highest court to disqualify GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump from the state's 2024 primary ballot under the 14th Amendment sparked outrage among allies and predictions from legal experts that the ruling will ultimately reach the Supreme Court and be overturned.

Former Federal Election Commissioner Hans von Spakovsky called the 4-3 decision by the state Supreme Court "badly judged, banana-republic election interference" that will be reversed in the federal courts. “This is a nakedly partisan, anti-democratic decision by the Colorado Supreme Court that ignores the law and prior precedent," he declared. 

Prominent George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley likewise decried the ruling as "strikingly anti-democratic in what it now allows states to do in blue and red states alike" as he implored the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene quickly. "I think the factual and legal basis of this opinion is really so porous that the Supreme Court will make fast work of it," he told Fox News.

The Colorado Supreme Court determined that Trump was ineligible under the amendment's insurrection clause because as president in 2021 he incited the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

The Trump campaign immediately condemned the ruling and vowed to appeal it to the nation's nine justices.

“Unsurprisingly, the all-Democrat appointed Colorado Supreme Court has ruled against President Trump, supporting a Soros-funded, left-wing group’s scheme to interfere in an election on behalf of Crooked Joe Biden by removing President Trump’s name from the ballot and eliminating the rights of Colorado voters to vote for the candidate of their choice,” campaign spokesman Steven Cheung said in a statement obtained by NBC News.

“We have full confidence that the U.S. Supreme Court will quickly rule in our favor and finally put an end to these unAmerican lawsuits,” he also said.

The statement was made amid an outpouring of support from such Trump loyalists as Ohio GOP Sen. J.D. Vance, whom the former president endorsed in 2022. 

"Apparently democracy is when judges tell people they’re not allowed to vote for the candidate leading in the polls?" Vance posted on social media. "This is disgraceful. The Supreme Court must take the case and end this assault on American voters."

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, also among Trump's strongest Capitol Hill supporters, said, "The 'pro-democracy' party at work. How ridiculous."

In a 4-3 decision, the Colorado high court upheld a lower court decision that Trump engaged in the insurrection and overturned its conclusion that the ban doesn’t apply to the presidency. The ruling will be placed on hold until Jan. 4, 2024.

"It will not stand, and we trust that the Supreme Court will reverse this unconstitutional order," said Trump personal lawyer Alina Habba.

Confidence in the court

Former Trump White House lawyer Ty Cobb on CNN predicted the Supreme Court would reverse the decision, saying "I think this case will be handled quickly. I think it could be 9-0 in the Supreme Court for Trump."

House Speaker Mike Johnson, who has a law degree, also expressed confidence that the high court would rule in Trump's favor and said the state court ruling "attempting to disqualify President Trump from the Colorado ballot is nothing but a thinly veiled partisan attack."

Colorado, which will have 10 Electoral College votes in 2024, has voted Democrat in the past four presidential elections. 

"This is an unprecedented and illegal action by liberal Colorado judges," Montana GOP Sen. Steve Daines said. "I plan to send a letter to the US Supreme Court asking them to immediately reverse this blatant election interference for the sake of our democracy."

At least one congressional Democrat praised the court’s decision.

“The Colorado Supreme Court has it right,” Colorado Rep. Jason Crow posted on X.“The Constitution protects the right to vote and bars candidates who abuse the process or engage in insurrection. Donald Trump has done both.”

Predictions of a Trump surge

While Trump is a defendant in several court cases including ones related to his family business and the 2020 presidential election that he lost, he continues to gain in the polls. 

The polling average has him leading his closest primary challenge, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, by almost 51 points.  

"Colorado has just proven Trump's theory true that he's the victim of political persecution. His poll numbers won't drop. On the contrary, they will rise," pollster Frank Luntz said.

NBC News reporter Garrett Haake wrote: "One effect this Colorado ruling will have: Republicans once again rallying to Donald Trump's defense, against perceived liberal judges/election interference. Four weeks to Iowa, expect to see Trump's primary competitors in a position where they're defending him publicly ... again."

Trump's son Eric Trump posted: "Prediction: This Colorado decision will add 5%+ points to [Trump's] already runaway polls."

Reaction from abroad

Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele, whose government has faced international criticism (and acclaim) for its mass incarceration of gang members and suspected criminals, declared that "[t]he United States has lost its ability to lecture any other country about 'democracy'."

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on X, formerly Twitter.

The Facts Inside Our Reporter's Notebook

Just the News Spotlight

Support Just the News