The Supreme Court of Colorado recently decided that the events of January 6th, 2021, mean former President Donald Trump is ineligible to appear on Colorado’s ballot because he participated in an “insurrection” and so Section 3 of the 14th Amendment prohibits him from being president. The decision has led to much outrage from the right, which generally sees it as judicial election meddling.
But, assuming the United States Supreme Court tosses out the ruling, the ruling might not be all bad news for former President Trump, as it makes it look to many Americans otherwise on the fence about him that he is the victim of a tyrannical government bent on suppressing him and his movement rather than beating him fairly in an election.
Such is what veteran GOP political operative Karl Rove, an Establishment Republican known best for his role in the George W. Bush administration, argued during a recent appearance on Fox News Channel’s “America’s Newsroom,” arguing that the decision could have some benefits for former President Trump and that the use of the 14th Amendment to try to keep him off the ballot is absurd.
Speaking on the matter, Rove first noted why the ruling could help out the former president, saying, “There are 15 states where these actions are underway. But for example, in 12 states, according to Lawfare, the plaintiffs have withdrawn the suit, recognizing how weak it is. But yeah, this is a big benefit to the former president. It makes him the center of attention, makes him a victim, makes him look like he’s on the receiving end of unfair partisanship, and it is unfair.”
Continuing, he noted the history of the 14th Amendment and its use, saying, “This is hearkening back to the Reconstruction era, a section of the Constitution, of the 14th Amendment, that doesn’t ever mention the word president and requires somebody to have been involved in insurrection or rebellion against the government… there’s been no such trial that has found the president guilty of insurrection or rebellion…”
He then proceeded to describe the few times that it has been used, saying, “this, incidentally, has been used twice in the history of our country. One time for a guy who had been found guilty under the Espionage Act and was running for federal office. And this was during the early part of the 20th century.”
And, saying what many people in America are thinking, Rove noted that the decision seems political, saying, “This is clearly politics. And it’s the hard left of America deciding to make hay while they can. And it’s helping President Trump, which [is] one of the great ironies.”
Rove went on to add that while he’s not a fan of Trump or Trump’s actions, the idea that what Trump did was an “insurrection” is absurd. “Do I like what happened on January 6th? No. Do I think President Trump should have immediately spoken out and told his followers on Capitol Hill to leave in peace? Absolutely. But to say that he is engaged in what the 14th Amendment requires is simply … not sufficient,” he said.
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