Liberal group files lawsuit in Colorado to keep Trump off the GOP primary ballot and ‘any future election ballot’

News & Politics

A liberal activist group based in Washington, D.C., that claims to want to “shore up our democracy against attacks” is working to keep President Joe Biden’s top rival off the ballot in Colorado for the 2024 election.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a group that has been called a “lapdog to left-leaning politicians” and has sought to hamstring former President Donald Trump since 2016, filed a lawsuit Wednesday in Denver District Court on behalf of six purported Republican and unaffiliated Colorado voters. The suit demands that Trump be removed from the GOP primary ballot and “any future election ballot” for supposedly having “disqualified himself from public office by violating Section 3 of the 14th Amendment.”

CREW alleged in a statement that Trump, now leading Biden in CNN’s latest general election poll, violated his oath to preserve and defend the Constitution “by recruiting, inciting and encouraging a violent mob that attacked the Capitol on January 6, 2021 in a futile attempt to remain in office.”

The 115-page suit, which regurgitates Jan. 6 committee talking points and appears to cite Trump’s recent indictments as supporting evidence for his ineligibility, names Colorado’s Democratic Secretary of State Jena Griswold as a defendant. According to the complaint, Griswold should already have excluded Trump from the primary ballot.

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Griswold — who happens to have beaten the daughter of one of the petitioners in an election for her current role — responded to the suit, stating, “I look forward to the Colorado Court’s substantive resolution of the issues, and am hopeful that this case will provide guidance to election officials on Trump’s eligibility as a candidate for office.”

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R), who has similarly been met with requests to remove Trump from the ballot ahead of the 2024 election, has suggested that doing so in his state or elsewhere would “only reinforce the grievances of those who see the system as rigged and corrupt,” further underscoring in the Wall Street Journal that “denying voters the opportunity to choose is fundamentally un-American.”

“Invoking the 14th Amendment is merely the newest way of attempting to short-circuit the ballot box,” wrote Raffensperger. “Mr. Trump might win the nomination and general election. Or he could lose. The outcomes should be determined by the people who show up to make their preference known in primaries (including Georgia’s on March 12) and the general election on Nov. 5. A process that denies voters their chance to be the deciding factor in the nomination and election process would erode the belief in our uniquely American representative democracy.”

The Associated Press noted that whereas various “fringe figures” across the country have sued in vain citing the clause, the legal resources behind this latest effort are substantial. The firms Tierney Lawrence Stiles LLC, KBN Law LLC, and Olson Grimsley Kawanabe Hinchcliff & Murray LLC are representing this play.

Among the petitioners named in the suit are Norma Anderson, Michelle Priola, Claudine (Cmarada) Schneider, and Krista Kafer.

Anderson, an on-again, off-again Republican from Lakewood, served in the state House from 1987 until 1998, then served in the state Senate from 1999 to 2005. She is the mother of failed Colorado secretary of state candidate Pam Anderson.

Priola is the wife of Democratic state Sen. Kevin Priola.

Schneider is a former Republican U.S. representative from Rhode Island.

Krista Kafer is a Never-Trumper Denver Post opinion writer, according to KMGH-TV.

While seeking to eliminate the sitting president’s opposition from contention, CREW president Noah Bookbinder said, “If the very fabric of our democracy is to hold, we must ensure that the Constitution is enforced and the same people who attacked our democratic system not be put in charge of it.”

Bookbinder, like CREW, is hardly nonpartisan. In addition to obsessing about Trump in the pages of the Washington Post, he is ostensibly tight with the ruling power. He was appointed by Biden’s Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to the DHS Advisory Council in March 2022. Influence Watch noted that in his previous capacity as chief counsel for criminal justice for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, Bookbinder worked in support of Senate Democrats to support their leftist agenda.

“We aren’t bringing this case to make a point, we’re bringing it because it is necessary to defend our republic both today and in the future,” continued Bookbinder. “While it is unprecedented to bring this type of case against a former president, January 6th was an unprecedented attack that is exactly the kind of event the framers of the 14th Amendment wanted to build protections in case of. You don’t break the glass unless there’s an emergency.”

CREW has asked the court to expedite the anti-democratic motion so that Trump can be stricken from the ballot before it is set on Jan. 5, 2024, reported the Associated Press.

Donald Sherman, CREW’s chief counsel, told reporters, “We understand that there’s great interest in states across this country about this question, and it needs to be resolved expeditiously so there’s clarity.”

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