Tillis proposes banning federal dollars from states that ‘misuse’ 14th Amendment after Colorado Trump ruling

Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., plans to introduce a bill that would ban federal tax dollars from going to state election authorities that improperly apply a section of the 14th Amendment, which disqualifies candidates who have engaged in insurrection against the United States. 

The legislation comes after the Colorado Supreme Court disqualified former President Donald Trump from appearing on the state’s ballot in 2024, citing the Capitol riots on Jan. 6, 2021, as purported evidence to invoke the 14th Amendment. 

“Regardless of whether you support or oppose former President Donald Trump, it is outrageous to see left-wing activists make a mockery of our political system by scheming with partisan state officials and pressuring judges to remove him from the ballot,” Tillis said in a press release. “American voters, not partisan activists, should decide who we elect as our president.”

The legislation, called the Constitutional Election Integrity Act, would also establish that the Supreme Court has sole discretion in adjudicating claims stemming from the 14th Amendment. 

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It’s being introduced as an amendment to the Help America Vote Act of 2002, which was designed to modernize election systems, providing federal funds to upgrade voting equipment, and create minimum standards for voter identification and registration. It was signed into law by President George W. Bush.

The Colorado Supreme Court disqualified Trump, the 2024 GOP presidential frontrunner, from appearing on the state’s ballot in a 4-3 ruling on Tuesday.

“We do not reach these conclusions lightly,” the court’s majority wrote. “We are mindful of the magnitude and weight of the questions now before us. We are likewise mindful of our solemn duty to apply the law, without fear or favor, and without being swayed by public reaction to the decisions that the law mandates we reach.”

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In a previous ruling, Colorado District Judge Sarah B. Wallace allowed Trump to stay on the ballot, but found that Trump “engaged in insurrection” for his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold said in a statement that she would “continue to follow court guidance on this important issue.”

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Other GOP lawmakers slammed the court’s decision Tuesday as well. 

“Liberal activist judges in Colorado are following the same playbook as Maduro and Castro,” Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., wrote on X. “Democrats’ gross attempts to silence or disenfranchise American voters will never stand.”

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, wrote on X that the court’s “nonsensical ruling only adds to the preexisting chaos of the 2024 election. The biggest ‘threat to democracy’ is to deny voters their choice.”

“This ruling must be reviewed by the Supreme Court,” he wrote. 

Fox News’ Bill Mears and Adam Sabes contributed to this report. 

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