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Ohio's secretary of state opposes Colorado case that seeks to block Trump from the 2024 state ballot, signing on to an amicus brief in the case with Missouri and Wyoming state election officials.....By Clevelandurbannews.com

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By Kathy Wray Coleman, editor, associate publisher

COLUMBUS, Ohio-Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose (pictured), a conservative Republican vying to become a U.S. senator from Ohio next year, joined in legal action Wednesday opposing a Colorado case that could ultimately keep former president Donald Trump's name off of the state’s 2024 statewide election ballot.

The highly-watched case that has been labeled a 14th amendment case by political pundits has implications for states nationwide and is now on appeal to the Colorado Supreme Court, after the state's highest court, on Tuesday evening, agreed to hear the appeal.


This week, LaRose signed on to an amicus brief (friend of the court brief) filed in the controversial case brought by a group of Colorado voters, joining chief election officials from Wyoming and Missouri in opposition.


While the Denver district court ruling on appeal, premised on what some legal experts say is an ambiguous clause under the 14th amendment that bans an official who has engaged in insurrection from holding office, says Trump did, in fact, engage in insurrection, it also says that such engagement in insurrection does not disqualify him from Colorado's ballot in 2024, a win by some standards for the Trump campaign and Republicans.


LaRose and the secretaries of state from Missouri and Wyoming argue in their amicus brief that the insurrection determination sets an unfair and dangerous legal precedent that could potentially impact elections in other states, including Ohio, Missouri and Wyoming.


The amicus brief filing asks the Colorado Supreme Court to overturn the part of the district court ruling that says the former president, who has not been criminally convicted of insurrection, engaged in insurrection on January 6, 2021 when his supporters, angry over the results of the 2020 election, literally rioted at the Capitol.


LaRose's support of the former president's 2024 bid for president comes as Democrats in Ohio seek to turn the state blue at least relative to the next presidential election cycle, after winning two statewide measures on last month's Nov. 7 ballot in Ohio, Issue 1, which made abortion and other reproductive measures legal in Ohio for women, and Issue 2, which legalized recreational marijuana.


Ohio leading Republicans, led by Gov. Mike DeWine, remain upset over the aforementioned wins by Democrats and vow to do anything legally possible to upend them.


Republicans hold every statewide office in Ohio, other than a few seats on the Republican-dominated Ohio Supreme Court and the office held by senior U.S. Sen Sherrod Brown, a beloved Cleveland Democrat up for reelection whom LaRose wants to try to oust, if he wins the Republican nomination for the senate seat next year.


Democrats, no doubt, want Trump's name off of any state ballot next year, particularly in swing states that he won in 2016, and in 2020 when he lost reelection to President Joe Biden, a Democrat seeking a second term as president.


Trump won Ohio in  2020 by eight percentage points, and in 2016 by a smaller margin.


But Democrats intend to make it harder for him to possibly win Ohio in 2024, saying they are still fired-up behind winning on abortion this year via a hard fought multi-million dollar Issue 1 campaign led by activist women's rights groups and grassroots activists where even some Republican women supported the measure, some of the same White, female voters who supported Trump in 2016 when he defeated Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton for president.

 

Clinton is the first woman ever nominated by a major political party in America for president.


LaRose insists that the aspect of the Colorado ruling on appeal that says the former president engaged in insurrection is outright wrong, and misleading. He says that voters, and not judges, should determine Trump's election fate, though the Colorado case could eventually end up before the judges or justices of the conservative-leaning U.S. Supreme Court that consist of three seemingly loyal Trump appointees who joined other justices to destroy Roe for Trump.


“This is a classic case of judicial overreach, and the judge’s ruling in this case has no basis in the law,” said LaRose regarding the Colorado district court ruling in a press release to Clevelandurbannews.com and Kathywraycolemanonlinenewsblog.com, Ohio's Black digital news leader. “The district court’s order relies on flimsy and circumstantial evidence to reach a flawed conclusion with far-reaching implications both for the [former] president’s own legal defense and for the broader democratic process of free and fair elections.”


He went on to say that "the decision of the district court, if upheld, not only sets a concerning precedent but also encroaches upon the fundamental rights of voters, a principle deeply embedded in our democratic fabric.”


The Colorado Supreme Court has scheduled oral arguments in the appeal for Dec. 6. and LaRose has stated that he will oppose any efforts to prevent presidential ballot access in Ohio based  on what he calls "fringe legal theories related to the 14th amendment to the Constitution." And he says he is ready for the legal fight over the issue as Ohio's chief election official, a duty he says he owes to Ohioans.


"Ohio law clearly lays out the process for a candidate to seek ballot access, and our job in the Ohio secretary of state office is to follow the law," LaRose said.

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