Legal madness

Colorado Supreme Court disregards due process

Legal Law and Justice concept - Open law book with a wooden judges gavel on table in a courtroom or law enforcement office. Copy space for text

By Charlie Danaher

In ruling that Trump should be removed from the primary ballot, the Colorado Supreme Court furthers and promotes the legal madness, while pretending to defend democracy.  

In the opinion, the majority states, “We are also cognizant that we travel in uncharted territory…” One might ask if, upon finding themselves in “uncharted territory,” they just happened to pause and reflect on over a thousand of years of western jurisprudence, and at least ponder the idea of presumed innocence until proven guilty? Apparently not.

It’s important to note that this is the same court who, in 2016, could not even find it in themselves to bother taking up the Masterpiece Cakeshop case. That case went to the SCOTUS, who slapped down the Colorado Appeals Court in a 7-2 ruling.

To get a sense of how ridiculous and dangerous the Colorado Supreme Court ruling was, let’s review a few of its flaws.

First, the court continues the perversion of historical ideas. Until three years ago, the only place that anyone had ever seen the term “insurrection” was in their homeowner’s insurance policy.  My Webster’s Dictionary defines the term as “a rising up of individuals to prevent the execution of law, by force of arms.”

Let’s be clear, what occurred at the Capitol on Jan. 6 was outrageous and unacceptable, without a doubt.  But an “insurrection?” Get real. 

After he realized what was taking place at the Capitol, Trump’s behavior was reckless and irresponsible. And his inaction toward peacefully resolving the situation is inexcusable. However, it’s farcical to claim that Trump engaged in an insurrection due to a speech he gave. 

Have we lost any ability to nuance between reckless, irresponsible behavior and insurrection? Good grief.

Second, the blatant disregarding of the due process. Since when did it become acceptable to simply declare someone guilty of a crime and then treat such a declaration as an actual conviction? 

And this coming from the highest court in our state. How pathetic! And how troubling, for anyone who values a society that honors the rule of law.

For the majority on the Colorado Supreme Court, it must be nice to know that you can grandstand and show your dedication to the anti-Trump tribe and know that, at the end of the day, your opinion has zero effect on Trump’s being on the primary ballot. Zilch. However, you will surely reap tribal rewards amongst the crowd whose primary principle is “by whatever means necessary.”

I wonder, can those cheering this ruling not imagine what such misuses of the law do to our society? Can they not conclude that this “stop Trump at any cost” mindset will surely not be limited to Trump? That we’ve now sown the wind and we will reap the whirlwind?

Let’s just be damn glad that the U.S. Supreme Court exists and will put an end to such insanity.  But we can only take modest solace from the inevitable overturning. Because, unfortunately, the damaging ramifications of this witch hunt will long haunt us.

Charlie Danaher is a mechanical engineer and libertarian columnist. He has lived in Boulder for 30-plus years. He seeks a peaceful world where instead of acting on our tribal instincts, we engage in rational conversations and honor the rule of law.

This opinion does not necessarily reflect the views of Boulder Weekly.

Editor’s note: As we previously reported, Trump will appear on Colorado’s presidential primary ballots, the contents of which were certified last week.


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