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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Trump’s lawyers warn of nationwide ‘chaos’

The GOP frontrunner’s team has told the US Supreme Court his possible removal from Colorado’s ballot would have dire consequences

Donald Trump’s lawyers have warned that the entire US could be plunged into chaos if the country’s Supreme Court upholds the state of Colorado’s decision to remove the republican presidential frontrunner from its ballot.

Last month, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled Trump ineligible to run for re-election and removed him from the ballot for the presidential primary on March 5. The court cited the 14th Amendment, which bans insurrectionists from holding public office.

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Trump’s lawyers argued again on Thursday that the former president had not instigated the riot on January 6, 2021.

The Colorado ruling, which was the first of its kind, has been left in limbo pending a decision by the US Supreme Court, with the first oral arguments in the case set for February 8.

“The court should put a swift and decisive end to these ballot-disqualification efforts, which threaten to disenfranchise tens of millions of Americans,” Trump’s lawyers wrote. They added that, if other states follow Colorado’s lead, it would  “unleash chaos and bedlam.” 

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The former president’s legal team also noted that the piece of legislation invoked by the Colorado Supreme Court can only be applied to an “officer of the United States,” which Trump is not.

The attorneys insisted that the Republican firebrand was not inciting insurrection when he called on his supporters to “fight like hell” on January 6, and was merely “raising concerns about the integrity of the recent federal election.”

According to Trump’s defense team, he used the phrase strictly metaphorically, not expecting his supporters to interpret it as a call for violence. They added that, as events began to unfold on Capitol Hill that day, Trump “repeatedly called for peace, patriotism, and law and order.” 

House Speaker Mike Johnson, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and several other Republican lawmakers have also called on the US Supreme Court to void Colorado’s “insurrectionist ban.” Several GOP secretaries of state also warned the judges that Trump’s potential removal from ballots would lead to a “foreseeable and unfortunate parade of horribles.”

On January 6, the Maine secretary of state passed a tentative ballot ban similar to that in Colorado, with multiple lawsuits filed in other states as well. The final say, however, rests with the US Supreme Court.