Lindsey Graham: Colorado’s Trump Ruling Is ‘A Political Decision’

Lindsey Graham: Colorado’s Trump Ruling Is 'A Political Decision'

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‘Donald Trump will eventually be on the ballot in Colorado. I think he will win the primary,’ said Mr. Graham

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said the Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling to remove former President Donald Trump from the state primary ballot for the 2024 election is “a political decision” and accused Democrats of harboring hatred toward the former president.

During an interview with ABC News’ “This Week” on Dec. 24, Mr. Graham said it was not based in law.

“It is a political decision,” he said, adding that the ruling “is chilling” and “it would set up a politicization of the presidential races. It would be bad for the country.”

On Dec. 19, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that former President Trump is ineligible to appear on the state’s primary ballot due to his alleged role in the Jan. 6 Capitol breach. The court’s 4–3 decision stated that the former president violated Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which prohibits certain individuals from holding public office if they have engaged in an “insurrection or rebellion.”

Mr. Graham said the ruling had “no constitutional basis” and would be a “slam dunk” in the U.S. Supreme Court.

“Donald Trump will eventually be on the ballot in Colorado. I think he will win the primary. You’ve got a lot of good choices in the Republican Party,” he said.

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He also condemned the political left for what he described as widespread hatred for the 45th president.

Growing Criticism of the Ruling

Last week’s decision from the Colorado Supreme Court marks President Trump as the first candidate in U.S. history to be declared ineligible to run for the White House. It also has triggered strong reactions among Republicans voicing their support for the former president.

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) told Fox News on Dec. 24 said the ruling reflects that “radical leftism has infiltrated every institution” in the United States, including courts, government agencies, and the education system.
In a video posted on Dec. 19, GOP presidential candidate and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy condemned the court’s decision, calling it an “actual attack on democracy.” He vowed to withdraw his name from the Republican primary ballot in Colorado and urged other GOP candidates to do the same.
Former Attorney General Bill Barr, a frequent critic of President Trump, said that the U.S. Supreme Court should strike down the ruling, and former White House lawyer Ty Cobb said that the Supreme Court could swiftly review the appeal and rule in Trump’s favor.

“I think it could be 9–0 in the Supreme Court for Trump,” Mr. Cobb said.

What’s Next?

With the Dec. 19 ruling from its highest court, Colorado became the first and only state to order President Trump’s removal from its primary ballot.

The Colorado Supreme Court has put its ruling on hold until Jan. 4, just a day before the deadline for the secretary of state to certify the content of Colorado’s presidential primary ballot. This pause enables President Trump’s legal team to seek a review from the U.S. Supreme Court.

“If review is sought in the Supreme Court before the stay expires on Jan. 4, 2024, then the stay shall remain in place, and the Secretary will continue to be required to include President Trump’s name on the 2024 presidential primary ballot until the receipt of any order or mandate from the Supreme Court,” the order reads.

Following the ruling, Trump campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung pledged to “swiftly file an appeal” to the nation’s highest court, saying, “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.”

In addition, the Colorado Republican Party indicated it would consider switching from a ballot to a caucus system if President Trump is kept off the ballot.

Republican state Rep. Dave Williams, chairman of the Colorado GOP, told CNN that the Colorado Republican Party would “withdraw from the primary and go to a strict caucus process that would allow our voters to choose Donald Trump.”

Jack Phillips and Catherine Yang contributed to this report. 

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