Former Attorney General Bill Barr called efforts to push former President Trump from primary ballots “doomed to legal failure” in an op-ed for The Free Press on Tuesday.
“The actions of Colorado and Maine, and other states that follow suit, are not only doomed to legal failure, they also embolden and empower the former president,” Barr said, referencing the recent removal of Trump from the primary ballots in Maine and Colorado under the 14th Amendment.
Barr also said the efforts “undercut the credibility of legitimate efforts to hold Trump accountable, and they fix in much of the public’s mind the image of effete elites trying to game the system.”
Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows (D) last week concluded the former president should be taken off the ballot in her state because of his actions leading up to and on Jan. 6, 2021.
Earlier in December, the Colorado Supreme Court in a 4-3 ruling also said Trump should be taken off its ballot.
The fights in both states are expected to eventually land in the hands of the Supreme Court.
Barr argued in his op-ed that states do not have the power, legally, to “enforce the disqualification provision of the Fourteenth Amendment by using their own ad hoc procedures to find that an individual has engaged in an insurrection.”
He said if the Justice Department found Trump engaged in an insurrection, “it would be another story. But it has not.”
Republicans have widely denounced the decisions in Colorado and Maine, including GOP figures such as Barr who have criticized Trump’s actions. Democrats have been more divided on the issue.
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