Witness testimony in the trial to keep President Trump off the Colorado finished on Friday (November 3, 2023). Both sides called several witnesses who described different sides to each argument presented: What happened at the Capitol on January 6, 2021; President Trump’s messages and messaging concerning the 2020 election; Who was responsible for the events at the Capitol on January 6, 2021; The role of the Colorado Secretary of State. But the most important testimony was that of two different expert witnesses regarding the 14th Amendment and, more specifically, the third section of that amendment. This is the whole reason for this lawsuit and the judge’s opinion on Section 3 of Amendment 14 will be the determine her decision.
Section 3 of the 14th Amendment states (paraphrasing for the sake of space) that no one who previously swore an oath to support the US Constitution may serve as a member of the US Congress or a as state legislator or hold any office in the US (civilian or military) if that person engaged in rebellion or insurrection against the US.
This entire case comes down to the following points: 1) What is an insurrection and does J6 qualify? 2) If January 6 was an insurrection, did President Trump engage in that insurrection? 3) If the answers to 1 and 2 are “yes,” does a Denver District judge get to make that call?
Professors Gerard Magliocca (petitioners’ witness) and Robert Delahunty (Trump’s witness) discussed at length their professional and scholarly understanding(s) of the 14th Amendment, how Section 3 came to be, what the framers of that amendment intended, and how it should (or could) be interpreted today. Suffice it to say that they were two sides of that same coin.
Magliocca believes that January 6 was indeed an insurrection and that President Trump’s speeches and messages to his supporters amounted to engaging in that insurrection. Delahunty testified to the opposite: January 6 should not be regarded as an insurrection – it falls short of the intended purpose of the 14th Amendment, which was originally meant to keep former Confederate combatants and members of government from serving in the US government after the Civil War. Furthermore, President Trump’s messaging and speeches do not rise to the level of engaging in insurrection, even if there had been one.
And then the topic of Section 5 came up, which reads, “The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.” While The Congress has enacted legislation to enforce other provisions of Amendment 14 (there are volumes of statutes regarding Section 1), no legislation was ever passed regarding Section 3. Thus the dispute. Absent any legislation to enforce Section 3, we now have a District Court Judge in Denver who will make a ruling regarding the highest office in this country. Trump’s attorneys and Professor Delahunty do not believe that a state court has this authority. The fact that Congress has not acted on legislation pursuant to Section 3 since its ratification in 1868 renders it all but unenforceable: especially not by a district judge in Denver. The petitioners’ attorneys and Professor Magliocca say the opposite: the absence of legislation makes it self-executing – anyone can enforce it, even a district judge in Denver.
The problem with this case is that the Soros funded Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) has a district judge in Denver who seems quite willing to make a landmark decision that potentially has 50 state impact on an obscure section of what is perhaps the most fraught amendment to our Constitution. There is no attendant legislation to guide or inform what is meant by “insurrection,” what is meant by “engaging in insurrection,” or even if this section applies to the President of the US (that was an argument brought forward). The propriety of this case is irrelevant, whether it should even be heard by a district judge in Denver is irrelevant. What is important to the left is that it is heard anywhere and the precedent for blocking President Trump from the ballot is made. It is nothing short of election interference.
The fact that six disgruntled petitioners can bring a lawsuit to a district judge in Denver and ask her to render a ruling that will disenfranchise millions of Colorado voters is disgusting. Any judge with a shred of ethics would have rejected this case on standing.
Simply put, the petitioners are not the guardians of the entire Colorado electorate. It is not their purview to determine whether a candidate is eligible or not and it is definitely not up to them to deny the rest of the state the opportunity to vote for or against any candidate. If these six malcontents hate President Trump so much, they are free (per Amendment 1) to campaign against him and vote for someone else.
Closing arguments will be on November 15, 2023 and Judge Wallace indicated that she will render her decision before Thanksgiving. But let’s face it. Judge Sarah Wallace knew her decision on this matter before the petitioners even filed the lawsuit.