The decision of the Colorado Supreme Court to bar Donald Trump from being on the state’s ballot for the Presidential primaries is just one more piece of evidence that the US of A is rapidly descending to banana republic status.
The judgement said that Trump should be barred because he backed an “insurrection” on 6 January 2021, when he allegedly exhorted his supporters to prevent the stealing of the election by the Democrats through unfair means.
The seven judge-bench, which voted 4-3 to take Trump off the ballot (read the verdict here), was dominated by Democratic appointees. The partisan nature of the verdict is thus clear. Though the matter will be appealed in the US Supreme Court, efforts are clearly on in other states to trip Trump even before the primaries begin.
This is clearly a politically desperate attempt by Democratic partisans to use the courts to prevent Trump from even making it to the starting post, especially since the latest opinion polls show him leading the hugely unpopular Joe Biden in most swing states. Colorado voted for Biden in 2020.
Keeping rivals out of the polls is what banana republics do, not vibrant democracies. In the latter, the battle is waged in the voter’s mind through better arguments and reasoning, not biased courts.
The Colorado Supreme Court used a little-used 14th amendment provision from the America Civil War era to bar Trump. An NBC report quotes section 3 of the Civil War-era 14th Amendment as saying, inter alia: “No person shall ... hold any office, civil or military, under the United States ... who, having previously taken an oath ... as an officer of the United States, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”
The problem, as the minority opinion in the Colorado judgement pointed out, is that Trump has been accused of many things, including supporting the 2021 “insurrection”, but is yet to be convicted on any of the charges. So, for a state Supreme Court to deliver an adverse judgement that applies only in one state — and that too before a conviction — is bizarre.
The rush to judicially ban a political rival even before he is convicted of any crime, is not what judges in vibrant democracies do. So much for the rule of law.
Evidence of Uncle Sam’s rise in banana republic rankings comes not only from some segments of the judiciary, but also its Ivy League institutions. Just a few days ago we saw how three Ivy League Presidents of Harvard, MIT and UPenn could not bring themselves to clearly agree that calls for the genocide of Jews was not kosher.
The alliance of Islamist-Left forces that keeps these academics in power is the same alliance that keeps the Democrats in power in the US. While one President resigned under pressure from donors and critics, two others are holding on.
Attempts to trip Trump, both judicially and extra-judicially, began before he was due to demit the Presidential office in January 2025, when all the social media companies deplatformed him.
The Colorado judgement, which will most likely be thrown out by the US Supreme Court, possibly on technical grounds, will not make America any less of a banana republic. Most of the nine members of the current bench (six of them) are Republican-appointed Conservatives.
Only banana republics pack their highest courts with politically aligned hacks instead of intellectually honest and do not let their personal ideological preferences dictate their verdicts.
It is time India strengthened and reposed more faith in its own institutions instead of looking at Uncle Sam’s shop-soiled ones as role models.
Jagannathan is Editorial Director, Swarajya. He tweets at @TheJaggi.
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