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Opinion

Legal Expert Brutally Fact-Checks CNN

via CNN

A Denver court has begun hearings to determine whether former President Donald Trump should be excluded from Colorado’s 2024 election ballot based on his alleged role in the Capitol breach.

CNN’s John Avalon argued that Trump could be disqualified under the 14th Amendment if found guilty.

However, legal analyst Elie Honig countered that neither the Constitution nor Congress provide clear guidelines on how to enforce this amendment. (Trending: Meet The Ultra Rich Megadonors Behind Democrats)

Avalon told viewers, “It’s not a dead letter, but enforced, saying basically: he took an oath to uphold the Constitution, and if you participated in or gave aid and comfort to an insurrection or rebellion, you are disqualified from holding any office, civil or otherwise.”

Honig responded, “The great thing about John Avalon is he paints a picture of how things ought to be in an ideal world. I would say, ‘I agree; that would be lovely.’ However, I’ve been coming in to say, ‘But here’s why it’s not going to work that way.’”

Honig went on to explain, “Neither the Constitution nor Congress, in the one hundred fifty years since that amendment was passed, has clarified how this works.”

“The problem is, you can’t just make it up now and apply it retroactively. Some scholars argue it’s ‘self-executing.’ What does that even mean? Clearly, someone has to enforce it,” posited the legal analyst.

“Why do you think we’re having legal debates in Colorado right now?” asked Honig of Avalon.

Honig highlighted the potential political backlash and likelihood of the decision being overturned on appeal.

“The uncertain part is the decision of the state-level judge in Colorado. If she rules against Donald Trump, I can foresee two outcomes. First, there will be a significant political backlash that will likely favor Trump,” predicted Honig.

Honig continued to walk out that scenario saying; “If an unelected state judge decides to remove a major candidate from the ballot, it will disenfranchise millions of voters. Such a move would be perceived as the judge saying, ‘You can only vote for Joe Biden, as I’ve personally determined that Donald Trump committed insurrection.’”

“Secondly, any such decision is likely to be overturned on appeal. Even if the initial judgment goes against Trump, the case would move through the judicial system in Colorado and possibly into federal court,” concluded Honig.

Trump is facing similar legal battles in other states as well.

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