Former Obama adviser David Axelrod cautioned it would be "very, very disruptive" if the Supreme Court upheld the Colorado Supreme Court decision to bar former President Donald Trump from the ballot.
"I'm trying to imagine what it would be like if the Supreme Court said we're removing the front-running Republican candidate from the ballot and essentially saying to the American people, you won't have the opportunity to vote for him," Axelrod told CNN on Wednesday. "And I think it would be very, very disruptive in this country. I think it will create a huge reaction and that worries me. It worries me partly because of Donald Trump.
"There's so much cynicism about our institutions already," he continued. "And the strength of our democracy are these institutions. You can argue that's why you have to go the way the Colorado court suggests. But I think, in the minds of many voters, this would be a subversion. And it would draw very strong reaction."
The Democrat political strategist said the Supreme Court justices have "myriad legal questions" to consider as they take up the case, which could have huge implications for the 2024 presidential race.
"I'm not here as an apologist for Donald Trump, and I'm certainly not here as a lawyer, but I'm sure that one of the things the Supreme Court has to consider is what is the impact of a decision like that," he said.
In a 4-3 decision, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled in December that Trump was disqualified from appearing on the 2024 ballot under the 14th Amendment's "insurrection clause."
The former president has never been charged with or convicted of insurrection.
The Supreme Court agreed to decide whether Colorado can disqualify Trump from its state ballot over his actions surrounding the Jan. 6, 2021, breach of the U.S. Capitol building. Oral arguments in the case began Thursday.
While dozens of challenges to remove Trump from the ballot have been filed nationwide, only two — Colorado and Maine — have actually succeeded, with most having been rejected by lower courts.
If the Supreme Court should rule in favor of Colorado, the states will need to quickly change their election plans.
"The ruling would be binding precedent not only for Colorado but for other states," George Mason University law professor Ilya Somin told Spectrum News last week. "And therefore other states — at least those where there are laws that say in order to be on the ballot you have to be eligible for the office that you're running for — Trump would be ineligible to be on the ballot in those states as well."
Nicole Wells ✉
Nicole Wells, a Newsmax general assignment reporter covers news, politics, and culture. She is a National Newspaper Association award-winning journalist.
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