Justice Carlos Samour, appointed by a Democrat, has voiced a powerful critique of Colorado Supreme Court’s decision to ban former President Donald Trump from the state’s 2024 primary ballot.
Justice Samour, along with fellow dissenters Justices Maria Berkenkotter and Chief Justice Brian D. Boatright, also Democrat appointees, stood firm against the court’s 4-3 ruling. Samour’s argument centered on the due process doctrine, a cornerstone of American legal principles.
Samour wrote, “The decision to bar former President Donald J. Trump — by all accounts the current leading Republican presidential candidate (and reportedly the current leading overall presidential candidate) — from Colorado’s presidential primary ballot flies in the face of the due process doctrine.”
“Even if we are convinced that a candidate committed horrible acts in the past — dare I say, engaged in insurrection — there must be procedural due process before we can declare that individual disqualified from holding public office,” he continued.
“Because most other states don’t have the Election Code provisions we do … will inevitably lead to the disqualification of President Trump from the presidential primary ballot in less than all fifty states, thereby risking chaos in our country.”
“This can’t possibly be the outcome the framers intended.”
Justice Samour’s dissent has not only challenged the Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling but also ignited a crucial debate on the very foundations of America’s democratic system.
Trump’s campaign issued a public statement in response to the ruling, vehemently criticizing the court’s decision and highlighting that all the appointees are members of the Democratic Party. The ruling, based on the insurrection clause of the U.S. Constitution, marks the first instance of a state supreme court directly addressing and deciding on Trump’s qualifications for future office.
Trump’s team accused the court of supporting a “Soros-funded, left-wing group’s scheme” to interfere in the election on behalf of Joe Biden by removing Trump’s name from the ballot. The move, they say, denies Colorado voters the right to choose their preferred candidate.
“Democrat Party leaders are in a state of paranoia over the growing, dominant lead President Trump has amassed in the polls. They have lost faith in the failed Biden presidency and are now doing everything they can to stop the American voters from throwing them out of office next November,” Trump spokesman Steven Cheung wrote.
“The Colorado Supreme Court issued a completely flawed decision tonight and we will swiftly file an appeal to the United States Supreme Court and a concurrent request for a stay of this deeply undemocratic decision.”
The case originated from a petition filed by a group of Colorado electors, which led to a trial in the Denver District Court. The court found “clear and convincing” evidence that Trump engaged in insurrection as defined in Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment.
However, the Colorado Supreme Court ultimately held that Trump is disqualified from holding the office of President under Section Three, making it illegal under the Election Code for the Secretary of State to list him as a candidate on the presidential primary ballot.
The ruling is on hold for appeal until January 4, 2024.