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SAUNDERS: Supreme Court rules in favor of letting voters vote

WASHINGTON — The Colorado Supreme Court decided in December that former President Donald Trump did not qualify for the 2024 ballot because he incited the Jan. 6, 2021, “insurrection” in violation of Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment. It was an act of judicial overreach. In the 4-3 ruling — all seven justices were appointed by Democrats — the court narrowly decided it could tilt a national election.

On Monday, the Supreme Court of the United States reversed Anderson v. Colorado unanimously.

The three justices nominated by Democratic presidents — Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Ketanji Brown Jackson — concurred with six justices picked by Republican presidents that holding elections with a “patchwork” of states imposing their own new rules could lead to “chaos.”

If taken to the extreme of applying the Colorado rules after an election, the full court opined, the Colorado approach “could nullify the votes of millions and change the election result.”

Indeed, the Colorado scheme, if not stopped, would have banned the count of any write-in votes cast for Trump, according to the full court.

Imagine a court-ordered ban on counting legally cast votes. I can’t.

Maine and Illinois were poised to follow Colorado. Now that won’t happen.

If the tables were turned, you can imagine how CNN would be covering this.

The decision should come as no surprise. During oral arguments in February, Kagan offered, “I think the question that you have to confront is why a single state should decide who gets to be president of the United States.”

Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold posted on X, “I am disappointed in the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision stripping states of the authority to enforce Section 3 of the 14th Amendment for federal candidates. Colorado should be able to bar oath-breaking insurrections from our ballot.”

Ahem. Colorado voters should be able to cast ballots for their candidates of choice — and have their votes counted.

Any other outcome would have presented voters with a fiat out of left field using a post-Civil War era provision in the 14th Amendment. Can you think of a better way to feed the toxic distrust that has polarized American politics?

Kudos to Chief Justice John Roberts for bringing a sense of civility and comity to the nation’s top court.

In her own concurring one-pager, Justice Amy Coney Barrett, a Trump pick, offered that, given today’s “politically-charged” atmosphere, the top court should “not amplify disagreement with stridency” and “should turn the national temperature down, not up.”

Apparently Harvard Law professor emeritus Lawrence Tribe didn’t get the memo on toning it down. On MSNBC, Tribe dismissed the 9-0 decision as “allowing voters to get basically snookered into giving” power to a man who tried to hang onto power after losing the 2020 election.

This is the problem with the authoritarian left: Unless you live in Massachusetts or California, they don’t believe voters should decide.

Contact Review-Journal Washington columnist Debra J. Saunders at dsaunders@reviewjournal.com. Follow @debrajsaunders on X.

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