…and go straight to sentencing. After all, the Colorado Supreme Court has spoken: Trump is an insurrectionist.
Okay, if you don’t follow the news, some idiots in Colorado sued their Secretary of State, demanding that Trump not be allowed on the state primary ballot. Their theory being that he is ineligible under Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment. The case went to the state supreme court which ruled that Trump is ineligible; he’s an insurrectionist.
I don’t care if you’re hard-core MAGA or a rabid Trump Derangement Syndrome victim; that ruling — and the rationale behind it — should scare the hell out of you.
To begin, Trump hasn’t been convicted of insurrection. The only trial regarding the J6 “insurrection” wasn’t even scheduled to begin until next year, and has been put on indefinite hold. What’s more…
…Trump’s charges don’t even include “insurrection” under 18 U.S.C. § 2383.
But the CO courts just convicted Trump of insurrection. And not even in absentia. Trump was not a party to the case. Makes it kinda hard to defend yourself when you aren’t charged and tried. Just sentenced.
But little niceties like due process don’t apply, according to the court majority. They held that A14, Section 3 is automatically self-executing; that as soon as someone claims you engaged in insurrection, you did engage in insurrection. Even if — like Trump — you weren’t even there, and specifically pleaded for peace.
The accusation is all it takes. Stalin would be so proud.
The saner dissenters in the case pointed out that the Constitution and amendments establish the “what” and that it’s Congress’ job to decide the “how” of enforcement. Specifically, in the case of A14, S3, the enforcement is the aforementioned 18 U.S.C. § 2383.
Which hasn’t been applied to Trump in any indictment, federal or state.
So if they get to skip the whole law, trial, and conviction bit for the Fourteenth Amendment, what other provisions are auto-magically “self-executing”? The Sixteenth Amendment comes to mind. What say we skip the whole tax code, setting thresholds rates, exemptions, etc., and go straight to the feds simply confiscating your whole pay check? No trial no appeal. The 16A would be “self-executing, and it doesn’t mention any limits on how much they can take.
Funny though, how the Fifth Amendment due process provisions are not “self-executing.” But there you — don’t — have it; at least in Colorado.
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
Somehow that got edited out of the copies that CO supreme court read. But now that they’ve dispensed with the pesky bits, how else might this precedent be used?
Got an inconvenient city council critic? Accuse him of some random crime — assault, theft, even murder; it really doesn’t matter because there’s no need for due process. No need for witnesses, or evidence; Hell’s bells, you don’t even need a body (any more than the DC courts needed an actual insurrection). No trial. No sentencing. Just go straight to having the cops haul your critic away to prison indefinitely.
I don’t know about you, but I’m never going to — or through — Colorado again. It’s too risky. I’ll just add it to the list that previously only included California.
There’s is a flip side to this crazed decision, but that’s a topic for discussion elsewhere.