Colorado secretary of state weighs in on Supreme Courts Trump ballot decision


(WASHINGTON) — On Monday, the Supreme Court unanimously decided to reverse the decision by the Colorado courts that would have kicked former President Donald Trump off the GOP Primary ballot in the state.

The case was highly watched by election experts and legal scholars for the ramifications it would have on the election.

Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold argued in favor of the state before the justices and argued that the president didn’t have a “get out of jail free card.” Griswold spoke with ABC News’ Linsey Davis about the court’s decision Monday.

ABC NEWS LIVE: [What are] your thoughts on today’s decision?

JENA GRISWOLD: Thanks for having me on. First and foremost, I am glad the court issued a decision. Voters deserve to know whether Trump is a qualified candidate or not as they go into Super Tuesday.

But I am disappointed with the decision. We believe that states like Colorado [and] states across the nation have the authority to disqualify oath-breaking insurrectionists from our ballots. The Supreme Court decided otherwise. Donald Trump is on Colorado’s ballot, and votes for him in the Super Tuesday election will be counted.

ABC NEWS LIVE: Experts from the start thought that your case would be an uphill battle, and indeed, the court was unanimous in their decision. So why was it important for you to press on, knowing that you would anger so many Republican primary voters in your state?

GRISWOLD: To be very clear on two issues: I did not bring this lawsuit. Actually, Republican and unaffiliated voters in the state of Colorado filed this lawsuit because they believed it is not a good thing to have a disqualified candidate on a ballot that could lead to the disenfranchisement of unaffiliated and Republican voters.

Second, I also think it’s noteworthy that I have always said that I will follow the Supreme Court’s decision. Fighting for democracy is never the wrong thing to do. And at the end of the day, there have only been two courts who have looked at the question of whether Donald Trump engaged in insurrection. They both determined that he did.

ABC NEWS LIVE: How would you respond, though, to Republican voters who might say to you, “Why not trust me with my vote? Why limit my choices?”

GRISWOLD: Well, ultimately, my job is to uphold the law and the Constitution. And where there is, what many would say [is] pretty clear language in the Constitution about whether someone is disqualified or not. My job is to look at that. But again, I actually did not take any action in removing Trump from the ballot. A lawsuit was filed.

A lawsuit was filed, actually, against me asking a court to, stop me from putting Trump on the ballot. That then went to the Colorado Supreme Court, who said that Trump is disqualified because of his role in the insurrection and that the president or the former president is not above the law or the Constitution. Section 3 of the 14th Amendment applies to him.

I think the Colorado Supreme Court got it right. Ultimately, I will follow the United States Supreme Court decision. I do think that there is a dangerous concern from its decision. It does leave up to Congress whether to take action to disqualify federal candidates who are oath-breaking insurrectionists. That is highly unlikely with this Congress. And so it pretty much leaves open a door to ballot access for oath-breaking insurrectionists to run for federal office.

ABC NEWS LIVE: And we just have a few seconds remaining. But I know you said that, you always said all along that you would go along with the outcome of the Supreme Court. I am just curious, do you have confidence in the U.S. Supreme Court?

GRISWOLD: My beliefs about the United States Supreme Court does not affect my decision to follow their decision. In the United States, when we have legal or constitutional controversies, they get adjudicated. They work their way through a trial system. Again,

I would say I am disappointed in the Supreme Court’s decision. We expressed our view at the Supreme Court, and, ultimately, Trump is a qualified candidate. He is on the ballot and votes for him will be counted.

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