Lawmakers from both sides of the political aisle have watched events unfold in Maine and Colorado with a vague sense of unease.
On the surface, it seems like a slam dunk for Democrats, a real “we got you now” moment they have been waiting for since former President Donald Trump first came down the escalator in 2019.
Republicans are quick to note that it’s another attempt by Team Biden to eliminate any chance that the embattled candidate will win the GOP nomination. As with all prior Democratic attempts to shred Trump, it has only resulted in strengthening his standing among Republicans and Independents alike.
Senior Trump campaign advisors didn’t hesitate to express their concern that Colorado and Maine’s move to block the GOP frontrunner from the ballot was an extension of the Democratic efforts to remove Biden’s most significant re-election roadblock. Susie Wiles and Chris LaCivita released a memo noting that when Democrats realized that the continued legal assault on Trump wasn’t working, they “launched unconstitutional efforts to remove President Trump from the ballot, thereby removing the opportunity for the voters to decide an election.”
The decision to remove Trump from ballots raised alarm bells in the Biden campaign, who correctly predicted that Republicans would now have the proof they needed to claim that Democrats are targeting the predicted GOP nominee. However, there was a deeper concern that the strategy could be turned against their own candidates once the precedent was set.
Following Colorado and Maine’s decision to boot Trump from the primary ballot, Democratic Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson weighed in on the issue, expressing concern that the rulings would set a precedent for removing candidates in other races. She cautions that “ballot access would be used as a political tool for disqualification.”
And it’s a tool the Democrats are eager to use.
A case in point is Pennsylvania Republican Representative and House Freedom Caucus Chairman Scott Perry.
Failed state House of Representatives candidate Gene Stilp has filed a petition to remove Perry from the state’s ballot because of a tenuous connection with the January 6th incident. Citing the Fourteenth Amendment, Stilp claims that the connection alone is enough to ban Perry from office.
“Scott Perry’s own actions and efforts have awakened the application of the Fourteenth Amendment, Section Three, of the United States Constitution, which stops those who participate in insurrectionist activities from serving in certain capacities in the government of the United States,” Stilp said.
Stilp’s lawsuit relies on cellphone records linking Perry to discussions within former President Trump’s White House and campaign regarding election fraud and procedural matters. Perry has been resisting efforts to disclose his cellphone records in Trump’s federal election subversion case, but a recent court ruling ordered the release of 80% of the records to prosecutors.
Stilp alleges that the phone records were proof that Perry collaborated with other “election deniers” to create fraudulent sets of electors, aiming to “overturn the election results.” Although some individuals in this scheme faced indictments in Georgia, Perry has not been charged.
Removing Perry from the ballots ensures that a Democrat will take his seat. He is running uncontested in the Republican primary for the 10th congressional district seat, a position he has held since 2013. Perry faces no opposition within his party for the upcoming primary election, but Democrats are drooling over the opportunity to wrestle the seat away from him.
Perry is the latest, but certainly not the last, to face removal from the ballot for his alleged role on January 6. The cases will only get weaker – Perry was not charged with anything related to the incident at the Capitol, yet Stilp is contesting his candidacy through the “insurrection” clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Stilp argues that even though Perry was not involved in the January 6 incident, he “helped push conspiracy theories” that led to the protest. Based on these arguments, any Republican lawmaker who questioned the results of the 2020 election can be arbitrarily removed from any ballot across the nation.
Democrats have found a loophole to disqualify the opposition, but ultimately, the success of such a shaky strategy will rely on a United States Supreme Court ruling. But if Biden’s disrespect for SCOTUS decisions is any indication of the liberal mindset, that alone won’t be enough to stop them from their blatant power grab.