The U.S. Supreme Court has yet to hand down an official ruling in the Trump v. Anderson case that seeks to remove former President Donald Trump from ballots in Colorado's Republican primary on March 5. But the tone and questions from justices – even the liberal ones – in oral arguments last week indicate real concerns with allowing states the power to determine candidates in national elections.
"The ruling is likely to resolve not only whether Mr. Trump may appear on the Colorado primary ballot but also whether he is eligible to run in the general election," The New York Times reported. "Indeed, the decision in the Colorado case will almost certainly apply to any other state where Mr. Trump's eligibility to run has been challenged, including Maine, where the state's top elections official ruled he should be excluded from the ballot."
Continuing, the Times reported: "There was very little discussion of the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol or of Mr. Trump's role in it. But a majority of the justices indicated that they were prepared to rule that individual states may not disqualify candidates in a national election unless Congress first enacts legislation allowing them to do so."
The epicenter of the dispute is a previously little known provision of the Constitution, Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which states no one "shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State," if that person had previously sworn, "as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States" to support the U.S. Constitution but then "engaged in insurrection or rebellion" against the federal government.
American Family News discussed the case with Gary Bauer, chairman of the Campaign for Working Families. "The state of Colorado should be embarrassed and should be very angry at the Democrat Party in their state because they have made Colorado look terrible," he shared.
"They have used their power over the people of Colorado to file, in the name of the people of Colorado, an action that literally would blow up our democracy. That's extraordinary. I would hope that the people of Colorado would vote out of office every Democrat in the state – but of course they won't."
Still, Bauer is confident the Supreme Court will decisively overturn the Colorado decision –either unanimously or in an 8-1 ruling.
"[And] I hope that the ruling is broad enough that they not only say Colorado did not cite the appropriate grounds to do this, but instead says no state can, by citing a clause in the Constitution, keep a candidate for federal office for the whole country off of the ballot," he added.
Such fears may have been well-founded in the days and months after the Civil War. Whether they apply in 2024 is part of the debate.
"It was Colorado's secretary of state who took the initial action and said, 'I don't know if he should be on the ballot or not,'" former Colorado State Sen. Kevin Lundberg said on American Family Radio Monday. "There were some people who of course challenged it in court. The [lower] court came down with, 'No, no, we shouldn't do that, but he was guilty of insurrection. Then bump it up to the Colorado Supreme Court, and the Colorado Supreme Court said, 'Well look, the judge said there was insurrection. So apparently, we need to keep him off the ballot.'
"It's bizarre, hard-left politics from start to finish," Lundberg told show host Fred Jackson. "[In Colorado] we see this at so many levels."
Question: How did Colorado get this way?
Lundberg claims the citizenry of the state is largely conservative in its beliefs, yet the 21st century has seen the state take a hard-left turn in its statehouse, governor's mansion and courts. The former state lawmaker pinpoints a redistricting battle in 2000 and 2001 as the beginning of change. The state supreme court overstepped its bounds then, he said.
"That's when I entered the legislature. We finally drew the map, and the [state] supreme court said, 'No, no, no. We drew the map already.' So, the legislature, which the constitution requires them to do, didn't do that. That's what they decided back then," Lundberg recalled.
That turn of events, combined with the political appointments of most governors for the last 50 years, has created an imbalance between the political views of most Coloradoans and the people who lead them, he explained.
But that's not all. Such change often requires intentional planning to manipulate events – and Colorado had that, Lundberg said.
"I would call it very shrewd political management of the elections," he said. "We could have a huge discussion on how the election systems in Colorado are removed from the people. The secretary of state is in charge of everything. A lot of money was invested from the Left to switch the whole mechanics around as far as how elections and campaigns are conducted. There was a book written about this called 'The Blueprint' that a lot of people are familiar with. Several very wealthy people, millionaires, and billionaires – poured in a ton of money, ten times what we were used to seeing on the conservative side. That was 2004. I was in the House then, and we lost about a dozen seats to Democrats."
The results piqued Lundberg's curiosity. He investigated the websites of the winners and found slick marketing with candidates presenting themselves as salt-of-the-earth people with conservative values who just happened to be Democrats.
"It was all lies contrived for the election to deceive people, and they've done a pretty good job with it," Lundberg stated.
Coloradoans urged to stay in the fight
Lundberg has long been involved in Christian education in Colorado. He's an alumnus and board of trustees member for Colorado Christian University, and in 1990 he helped found Christian Home Educators of Colorado.
Restoring a sense of balance and order to government in Colorado, he argues, will mean the locals will need to "keep your eye on the ball for real values in life, and that's found in scripture – not even in our constitutions."
For now, Lundberg finds encouragement in how other states are run politically. "I point to them and say, 'That's where we need to head,'" he concluded. "If we give up and go home, it gets worse. We have to stay in the fight, engage in the battle. My trust is in God."