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Trump-Colorado Ballot Case Spurs Controversy Among Heschel Students

“It’s an embarrassment to America and our ideals of democracy,” said Senior Jonny Heisler, one of the leaders of Heschel’s Young Conservatives Club, in response to the Colorado Supreme Court’s effort to remove former President Donald Trump from the 2024 ballot. 

On Dec. 19, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that Trump should not be allowed to run in the primary ballot because of his role in the insurrection leading up to the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. The Colorado justices based their ruling on Section 3 of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which disqualifies any person from public office who has previously taken an oath as a federal or state officeholder and has engaged in insurrection or rebellion of the U.S.

The Colorado Supreme Court said that if the case were to go to the U.S. Supreme Court for appeal, Trump would be allowed to remain on the ballot. On Jan. 5, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the appeal; however, Colorado’s deadline to register for the primaries was set for the same day. Colorado’s Secretary of State said that she allowed Trump’s name to appear on the primary ballot due to his Supreme Court appeal.

Maine’s Secretary of State Shenna Bellows also declared on Dec. 28 that Trump did not qualify for the Republican primary ballot because he attempted to remain in power after the 2020 elections. By contrast, California, Michigan, and Minnesota ruled that election officials cannot prevent the Republican party from including Trump in the primaries.

Senior Jonny Heisler commented on Trump’s disqualification case. 

“I think it’s all political,” he said. “They hate him and they want to send a message.”

Heisler added that he doesn’t think the Constitutional provision applies to Trump. 

“I don’t think January 6th was an insurrection. It was a riot. It is an overstatement to say that it was going to overthrow the government.” 

He believes that there are more pressing issues that the government should direct its resources towards, instead of “disenfranchising voters.” 

“It’s wrong on multiple fronts,” said Heisler, “to use this amendment that talks about insurrection. The guy [first] has to be convicted of insurrection.” 

Heisler thinks this a matter worth discussing further in the Young Conservatives Club.

Junior Sophia Kasirer-Teitelbaum, one of the leaders of the Government and Public Policy Club, views the situation differently than Heisler. 

“It’s something that [the Court] has every right to do,” said Kasirer-Teitelbaum, “It’s a smart move. It’s not anti-democratic, which is what a lot of people are saying.”

Kasirer-Teitelbaum believes that parts of the Constitution were written to prevent breaches of power. 

“If [the government] should find evidence of him having done something to harm the U.S. once he is president, it will be too late,” she says. 

She adds that she is not necessarily “pro” or “anti” Trump, but what he did “put a target on the back of the United States.” 

Kasirer-Teitelbaum does not see this as a matter to be taken lightly. 

She said: “I don’t think people with a criminal history should be able to run for president, or any other extreme power position in the United States.”

While some states are considering whether Trump should be disqualified from the 2024 ballot, it will now be up to the U.S. Supreme Court to put the speculation to rest.

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