Colorado court ruling: Trump down but not out

Far-&-Wide : – With the Colorado Supreme Court disqualifying the ex-president from even contesting the primary, Democrats believe it will pave the way for President Biden’s second term at the office even as Trump’s Republican rivals rally to his defence by Gopal Misra

The recent surge in the popularity of the former US President Donald Trump, seeking the Republican nomination for the presidential poll in the world’s most powerful democracy is facing unprecedented political firework. With the Colorado Supreme Court disqualifying Trump from even contesting the primary in the state, Democrats appear upbeat that it might pave the way for President Joe Biden’s return to the White House again.

In a bid to prevent his arch rival from contesting the poll later this year, Biden supporters have already initiated legal procedures against Trump in various states. On the other hand, Trump and his supporters have challenged Biden’s legitimacy for the second term by alleging large scale financial bungling by his son, Hunter, in various deals involving companies of Ukraine and China.

The recent verdict of the Supreme Court of the U.S. State of Colorado in a 4-3 split order barring Trump from even contesting the primaries in Colorado is being considered a political vendetta by those supporting the former President. The court’s order says that Trump had violated a constitutional clause enacted in 1868  relating to engaging in an “insurrection or rebellion” under the Section 3 of the country’s 14th Amendment, when he reportedly incited his supporters to enter Capitol in Washington on January 6, 2021; alleging bungling in the poll and also blocking ‘peaceful transfer’ of power to Biden. The dissenting judges, however, have opined that Trump is being punished even before a proper trial, a basic right even of a criminal defending his case. The court, however, stayed its order till January 4, 2024, enabling Trump to seek review by the US Supreme Court. Earlier, a district court had declined to stop Trump from contesting on the grounds that it was unclear whether the 14th Amendment covered the presidency.

Interestingly, Vivek Ramaswamy, who is one of the Republican aspirants seeking nomination for the presidential nomination, has asked Nicky Hailey, Christ Christie and Ron DeSantis, Governor of Florida, to boycott the Colorado primaries unless Trump is allowed to participate. DeSantis has demanded that the US Supreme Court “should reverse” the Colorado ruling. “The Left invokes ‘democracy’ to justify its use of power, even if it means abusing judicial power to remove a candidate from the ballot based on spurious legal ground,” he wrote on X.

Earlier, the Minnesota Supreme Court had also rejected a disqualification case filed against Trump. The lower courts in Michigan, Florida and New Hampshire have already dismissed them. Meanwhile, Trump’s campaign spokesman Steven Cheung has accused that the “all-Democrat appointed” panel in Colorado was doing the bidding of a “[George] Soros-funded, left-wing group’s scheme to interfere in an election on behalf of crooked Joe Biden”.

Biden’s supporters are apprehensive that the US Supreme Court, dominated by a conservative majority that includes three Trump appointees, might set aside the Colorado verdict. They are expected to focus on Trump’s other cases such as the trial before a US federal judge on March 4, 2024, for his election subversion conspiracy; on March 25, Trump will be facing charges over alleged hush money payments made to porn star Stormy Daniels before a New York court; and on May 20, 2024, he will be facing the charges of the alleged mishandling of classified documents after leaving office before a Florida court.  A fourth trial could even open in 2024: Trump is also under indictment in Georgia, over an alleged conspiracy to overturn the results of the 2020 election he had lost to Joe Biden.

It is natural for Indians to be worried about the no-holds barred campaigns between the supporters of Biden and Trump. Since India has been promoting an all-encompassing  worldview which establishes the blossoming of a multi-racial, multi-ethnic and multi-religious society under a democratic umbrella, the political crisis in the USA might affect her too. Like others, Indians also admire the American dream, coveted worldwide.

US cold-shoulders Gen Munir

Washington finally prevails upon Pakistan’s de-facto ruler, General Asim Munir, army chief, who was on a week-long visit to the US in December 2023, to expedite elections without any further delay, thus, forcing Pakistan’s Election Commission to schedule polls promptly for the National Assembly on February 8, 2024. The Americans believed to have rejected Munir’s plea that former PM Imran Khan and his party Tehreek-i-Insaf, might win absolute majority, which is an anathema to the GHQ as well as to White House.

In the US, however, he was refused any audience with President Joe Biden, and even the prominent figures of the Republicans at Capitol. He could only meet Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defence General Lloyd Austin. Interestingly, both the US and the Pakistani army are keen to get Nawaz Sharif reinstalled in Islamabad. It is yet to be seen whether their interests really converge.

A mirthless New Year dawns

Under the shadow of two wars, Russia-Ukraine in Europe and Israel-Hamas in West Asia, the 2023 Christmas celebrations despite illuminations from Singapore to London and even to New York could not cheer mankind. Unless some miracle happens, the peace would remain a mirage in 2024. The efforts to invoke Santa Clause could not bring any smile to us. The European War has become an unending conflict. In 2024, the people across the continents will meekly be witnessing continued blood bath in West Asia too, the holy lands where Jesus was born.

In India, the sad faces of the young Ukrainian couples serving here reflect the agony of war. As a writer, one may discuss India’s neutral stance or geo-political compulsions, but it is difficult to muster courage to give them any solace. The West Asian conflict between an irresponsible terror group has invited the mighty fire power of Israel. The victims are again the innocents, but neither the big powers nor the UN is unable to stop the ongoing carnage. Unfortunately, most of the news channels describe the killings as faceless statistics, but fail to share the agony of losing even one life; a mother loses her infant or hapless women being violated. Have we lost human concerns for life? Yet people like us are awaiting a Messiah to gift us peace, the most precious reward for mankind.