Opposing Colorado Court Decision to Remove Trump from Ballot

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced that it filed in the United States Supreme Court an amici curiae (friend of the court) brief along with the Allied Educational Foundation (AEF) in support of former President Donald Trump in his challenge to the Colorado Supreme Court’s unprecedented decision to remove him from the state’s 2024 presidential primary ballot (Donald J. Trump v. Norma Anderson et al. (No. 23-719)).

Judicial Watch and AEF are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse the Colorado Supreme Court’s December 19, 2023, decision disqualifying President Trump from the state’s primary and general election ballots under Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment, based on the allegation his speech and actions disputing the 2020 election constituted “insurrection.”

Judicial Watch and AEF further argue the interests at stake in the case include fundamental due process and First Amendment constitutional rights of tens of millions of Americans:

The legal and national interests at stake in any proceeding to determine whether a candidate should be barred from running for a national office like the presidency, either pursuant to Section 3 or for any other reason, are extraordinary. Those interests encompass the First Amendment associational rights of members of national political parties, as well as the rights of millions of voters to express their political preferences by voting for the parties’ candidates. Those interests also include the national interest in conducting elections perceived to be legitimate because they reflect the wishes of the voters.


The impact of banning a national candidate like President Trump from the ballot in one state is felt nationwide, as his supporters, in every state, reassess his chances of winning and the value of turning out to vote for him. Accordingly, any proceeding to remove President Trump from the ballot in Colorado must account for the interests of millions of Republican party members and voters across the nation if it is to comport with the requirements of the Due Process Clause.


The United States has an interest in being able to credibly maintain that national elections are decided by voters who are persuaded, for various reasons, to cast their ballots for particular candidates. Where this is so, the outcome of the election may be relied on to reasonably reflect what the American people want. But this claim is undermined when it appears that the machinations of partisans, bureaucrats, and lawyers are more important in determining the outcome of an election than the will of voters.

Judicial Watch and AEF further argue that, if the Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling is allowed to stand, presidential and other federal elections will be thrown into chaos:

In a basically standardless legal discussion, charges of insurrection can be levelled by imaginative partisans on the basis of many different kinds of inflammatory political actions or speech. Consider:

1. Vice President Kamala Harris promoted a bail fund that helped to free “those protesting on the ground in Minnesota” in the wake of the murder of George Floyd. The protests in 20 states following that murder were among the costliest in U.S. history, persisting in some cities for months, and resulting in at least 25 deaths. Protesters attacked federal property and set fire to a federal courthouse. Protests also caused President Trump to evacuate the White House to a secure underground location, as rioters assaulted police officers outside the White House gates.

2. Discussing an anticipated abortion ruling, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told a rally on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court on March 5, 2020, “I want to tell you Gorsuch. I want to tell you Kavanaugh. You have released the whirlwind and you will pay the price. You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.” His comments were reproved by the Chief Justice of this Court as “dangerous.” Two years later a man was arrested for threatening behavior directed at Justice Kavanaugh.

3. Recently a number of Republican officials have proposed retaliating for the instant lawsuit by seeking to remove President Biden from their state ballots for abetting an “invasion of eight million” at the southern border of the United States.

4. On June 10, 2017, Sen. Bernie Sanders called President Trump “the worst and most dangerous president in the history of our country.” Four days later, one of his supporters opened fire on congressional Republicans at a baseball practice, wounding four, including Rep. Steve Scalise.

All of these facts are fodder for interested partisans seeking to disqualify opposing candidates. If the nation does go “down that path,” presidential elections in the United States will become a more ugly business. Legal maneuvers to remove President Trump from the ballots of various states, and the retaliatory maneuvers they provoke, will create a new, anti-democratic front in the partisan wars. To be blunt, “blue states” will apply Section 3 to harass “red” candidates, while “red states” will apply that provision to harass “blue” candidates.


The losers in this process, as here, will be the voters.

The Court should foreclose this kind of warfare now. Amici respectfully submit that the Court should refuse to ratify these maneuvers, and should instead adopt as its policy the observation that “[t]he cure for the evils of democracy is more democracy.”

“Let’s be blunt: The Left is trying to turn America into a one-party state by seeking to unconstitutionally remove President Trump from the ballot,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The Supreme Court should just say ‘no’ to this brazen, dangerous and unconstitutional coup against the rights of tens of millions of Americans.”

The Allied Educational Foundation is a charitable and educational foundation dedicated to improving the quality of life through education. In furtherance of that goal, the Foundation has engaged in a number of projects, which include, but are not limited to, educational and health conferences domestically and abroad. AEF has partnered frequently with Judicial Watch to fight government and judicial corruption and to promote a return to ethics and morality in the nation’s public life.

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