Lindsey Toomer

(Colorado Newsline) A Republican-led protest in Denver sought to “stand against activist judges” following the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision to bar former President Donald Trump from the 2024 ballot, with attendees calling out justices for using “communist tactics to keep our great President Trump off the ballot.”

The protest, organized by Colorado Republican Party fundraising chair Darcy Schoening, drew about two dozen people to the Ralph L. Carr Colorado Judicial Center in Denver Wednesday afternoon. She and Colorado state Sen. Mark Baisley, a Sedalia Republican, addressed the group.

Schoening said the Colorado Republican Party will drop out of the primary and switch to a delegate system so Trump can be the Republican presidential candidate in the state if the U.S. Supreme Court doesn’t overturn the ruling in time. She said the party has the legal ability to drop out of the primary and that GOP Chair Dave Williams is moving in that direction, with a meeting of the state central committee coming soon to decide the matter.

“This ruling will not stand at the Supreme Court, but we are here to fight every step of the way,” Schoening said. “We will be discussing dropping out of Jena Griswold’s corrupted primary system. We will also be discussing the formal endorsement of President Trump by the Colorado GOP and we will be voting for several other measures in that meeting.”

Griswold, a Democrat, is the Colorado secretary of state.

The Colorado Supreme Court majority ruled this month that Trump should be barred from the state’s 2024 presidential primary ballot under a Civil War-era insurrection clause in a historic ruling certain to be appealed to the nation’s highest court. The ruling, however, includes a stay of the court’s order that will last until Jan. 4, or until the outcome at the U.S. Supreme Court is decided.

“We’ve got to trust in our U.S. Supreme Court to make the right decision, and I think they will,” Baisley said at the protest. “Thank God for Donald Trump for having placed those people on the Supreme Court in the first place who will rule properly — not in his favor, but in favor of the U.S. Constitution.”

During his presidency, Trump installed on the nation’s highest court three conservative justices, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett.

Six Republican and unaffiliated Colorado voters, backed by the nonprofit Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, filed a lawsuit in September alleging that Trump’s actions in relation to the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol disqualify him from office under the 14th Amendment to the Constitution.

Section 3 of the amendment, ratified in 1868 and enforced in only a handful of cases in the last 150 years, prohibits a person who “engaged in insurrection” after taking an oath to support the Constitution from holding office again.

Baisley highlighted Denver District Court Judge Sarah B. Wallace’s finding that Section 3 does not apply to the president — which he said is what the authors of the amendment intended — and said the Colorado Supreme Court erred in saying it does. He also criticized the finding that Trump did engage in insurrection.

“This is an insurrection all on its own,” Baisley said of the ruling. “More than anything else, it is election interference, which they are claiming that we’re doing and that others are doing. They are committing election interference by stepping beyond the role of their position as Supreme Court justices.”

Several attendees said their objection to the ruling isn’t a partisan issue specific to Trump, rather it’s about maintaining free and fair elections open to all. Schoening said the ruling is “part of the slippery slope of communism.”

“That’s why we have to put a stop to it right now, because in four years we might be living in a country that we don’t recognize anymore — where only the candidates that the government deems viable candidates are the ones on the ballot, and that’s literally China,” Schoening said.

The Federal Bureau of Investigations is working to address threats against justices on Colorado’s Supreme Court following the ruling.

Trent Leisy, a Republican running to win Ken Buck’s seat representing Colorado’s 4th Congressional District, called for the majority justices to be arrested and tried for treason. He and conservative activist Joe Oltmann are leading another rally Saturday against the Colorado Supreme Court decision.

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