GOP Missouri official warns Trump ballot removal efforts could be matched with Biden ballot removal acts

 January 7, 2024

The U.S. Supreme Court will soon review the Colorado Supreme Court's decision to remove former President Donald Trump from the state's primary ballot, one of several ongoing anti-Trump ballot disqualification efforts in multiple states under the auspices of the U.S. Constitution's 14th Amendment.

If that Colorado ruling is upheld and Trump is confirmed as ineligible to run for office, then some Republican-led states will likely follow suit with similar efforts to remove President Joe Biden from their respective ballots, according to Fox News.

Such was the warning issued on Friday by Missouri's Republican Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, though it remains unclear what the cited justification for the disqualification would be as the 14th Amendment's "insurrection" clause would not be viewed as applicable to Biden as it is being applied to Trump.

If Trump can be arbitrarily removed from ballot, so can Biden

On Friday, Missouri Sec. Ashcroft shared on social media a link to an Associated Press article about the U.S. Supreme Court accepting former President Trump's petition to review the all-Democrat Colorado Supreme Court's stayed ruling to remove the leading Republican presidential candidate from that state's primary and general election ballots.

That Colorado court ruling had been followed days later by a unilateral decision from Maine's Democratic Secretary of State Shenna Bellows to similarly cite the 14th Amendment's Section 3 "insurrection" clause in relation to Trump and the Jan. 6 Capitol riot of 2021 as the justification to disqualify the former president from that state's election ballots.

"What has happened in Colorado & Maine is disgraceful & undermines our republic," Ashcroft wrote in the X post. "While I expect the Supreme Court to overturn this, if not, Secretaries of State will step in & ensure the new legal standard for @realDonaldTrump applies equally to @JoeBiden!"

Missouri likely wouldn't act alone

Fox News noted that Sec. Ashcroft later further explained his post to a local media outlet, and said, "I'm not in favor of going down this path. But if we will go down this path, it's inevitable, if the Supreme Court does not stop this. The rules will be applied equally. I just hope they will not be the rules of Colorado and Maine."

If the anti-Trump Colorado ballot removal ruling is allowed to stand by the U.S. Supreme Court, Missouri likely wouldn't be the only Republican-led state to engage in political turnabout and launch efforts to likewise remove President Biden, as Texas' GOP Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick told Fox News host Laura Ingraham last month that the Lone State State would look closely at doing so, with the unsecured southern border and unenforced immigration laws being the main justification.

"Seeing what happened in Colorado tonight," Patrick said, "makes me think -- except we believe in democracy in Texas -- maybe we should take Joe Biden off the ballot in Texas for allowing 8 million people to cross the border since he’s been president, disrupting our state far more than anything anyone else has done in recent history."

Supreme Court expected to settle 14th Amendment questions

At issue here, according to SCOTUSblog, are the disputed interpretations of anti-Trump activists and Democrats of the rarely invoked clause of the post-Civil War constitutional amendment that was aimed at barring former Confederate officers and politicians who'd previously sworn an oath to the U.S. Constitution from holding public office again in the newly-reconstituted union after having engaged in an "insurrection or rebellion" against the same.

The Supreme Court is expected to settle the question of whether the 14th Amendment's "insurrection" clause applies to the president in the context of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, as Colorado and Maine decided, or not, as several other state courts and secretaries have conversely determined in rejecting the Trump ballot removal efforts in their respective jurisdictions.

Written briefs and replies are due by various deadlines throughout the remainder of the month and oral arguments are scheduled for Feb. 8, though there is no indication of how quickly a final ruling may come from the nine Supreme Court justices after that.

Trump campaign confident in favorable SCOTUS ruling

"We welcome a fair hearing at the Supreme Court to argue against the bad-faith, election-interfering, voter-suppressing, Democrat-backed and Biden-led, 14th Amendment abusing decision to remove President Trump’s name from the 2024 ballot in the state of Colorado," Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung said in a statement Friday. "The so-called 'ballot-challenge cases' are all part of a well-funded effort by left-wing, political activists hell-bent on stopping the lawful reelection of President Trump this November, even if it means disenfranchising voters."

"President Trump is dominating the polls, and the Biden presidency has failed all Americans," the spokesman added. "We are confident that the fair-minded Supreme Court will unanimously affirm the civil rights of President Trump, and the voting rights of all Americans in a ruling that will squash all of the remaining ballot challenge hoaxes once and for all."

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