In a landmark decision that could reshape the landscape of American electoral politics, the Colorado Supreme Court has set the stage for a constitutional showdown of historic proportions. The case at hand? The disqualification of former President Donald Trump from the Colorado presidential ballot, now en route to the U.S. Supreme Court. This episode of The Colorado Switchblade podcast features a deep dive into this critical issue with Nikhel Sus from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW).
Nikhel Sus is the Director of Strategic Litigation at Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), where he specializes in impact litigation focused on government accountability, transparency, and ethics. He currently represents a group of Colorado voters who sued to disqualify former President Trump from Colorado's presidential primary ballot under Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment based on Trump's role in the January 6th insurrection. He also represents a group of New Mexico residents who successfully sued to remove a county commissioner from public office under Section 3 based on his role in the insurrection.
The Heart of the Matter: Nikhel Sus, CREW's Director of Strategic Litigation, elucidates the significance of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, a post-Civil War addition to the Constitution designed to bar individuals who engage in insurrection from holding office. Sus underscores CREW's commitment to upholding constitutional integrity, especially in the aftermath of the January 6th insurrection, marking this provision's resurgence in relevance.
The Colorado Ruling: The Colorado Supreme Court's decision is more than a mere legal victory; it's a reaffirmation of constitutional supremacy. This ruling, as explained by Sus, not only addresses the legal aspects of Trump's disqualification but also confirms the broader authority of courts to enforce the Constitution. The court's detailed decision underlines the January 6th attack as a genuine insurrection, setting a precedent in the historical and legal narrative of the United States.
The Echoes of Extremism: A pivotal aspect of the case, as discussed in the trial and highlighted by Sus, is the connection between Trump and the violent elements of his supporters. The evidence presented showcased a calculated effort to mobilize these groups, culminating in the violence witnessed on January 6th. This relationship between a political leader and extremist factions forms a central argument in CREW's legal strategy.
The Road to the Supreme Court: As the case potentially progresses to the U.S. Supreme Court, Sus articulates the anticipated challenges and strategies. Given the court's current conservative majority, CREW's arguments are grounded in historical evidence and originalist interpretations of the Constitution — a mode of interpretation favored by the current justices.
Concluding Thoughts: In our conversation, Sus reflects on the possible outcomes and the far-reaching implications of a Supreme Court decision. This case isn't merely about one state's decision but could set a precedent affecting future presidential candidates and the very fabric of American democracy.
Closing Remarks: As we continue to monitor this pivotal case, The Colorado Switchblade remains committed to bringing you insightful analyses and updates. Stay tuned for more episodes that cut through the noise, offering clarity and perspective on issues that shape our world.