How Gorsuch made the case for banning Trump from the ballot (LISA NEEDHAM, DEC 21, 2023, Public Notice)

The Colorado Republican State Central Committee (CRSCC) intervened in the lawsuit, arguing that any determination about Trump’s qualifications to be on the ballot interfered with the party’s First Amendment right of association to choose its candidates. However, putting aside the whole insurrection issue, the United States Constitution sets out several conditions that have to be met for a person to be qualified to run for president. You must be a “natural born citizen,” at least 35, and have lived in the United States for at least 14 years. The CRSCC’s position, the Colorado Supreme Court pointed out, would allow them to place anyone on the ballot even if they didn’t meet these constitutional qualifications.

Trump also tried to argue that he is not barred from running for office because he’s an insurrectionist but only from holding office as an insurrectionist. This is absurd on its face, and the Colorado Supreme Court was able to dispose of that argument thanks to Justice Neil Gorsuch.


Back in 2012, Gorsuch was a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. In that capacity, he wrote the panel opinion in Hassan v. Colorado. Hassan, a naturalized citizen, sued Colorado, arguing it was required to put him on the presidential ballot even though he was not a natural-born citizen and was therefore not constitutionally qualified to run for president. The Tenth Circuit ruled against him, with Gorsuch writing that states have “a legitimate interest in protecting the integrity and practical functioning of the political process” and that because of that, they can “exclude from the ballot candidates who are constitutionally prohibited from assuming office.” It’s that quote that makes its way into the Colorado Supreme Court opinion.


Nikki Haley: The Future Of Conservatism (David Cowan, 12/06/23, Vital Center)

Conservatism has been in turmoil for decades, with successive shocks exposing and widening fractures within the movement that brought Ronald Reagan to power and helped win the Cold War. As we approach the middle of the century, conservatives are now seeking a renewed sense of purpose. Americans are crying out for new leadership. A Trump-Biden rematch would represent a profound failure to move on in national politics. Looking to a new generation is the nation’s best hope for renewal, and the candidate who best embodies that hope is Nikki Haley.

Haley’s character, philosophy, and record reflect the essential virtues of conservatism. She expresses strength without descending into divisiveness, defends a consistent set of principles while being practical, and has brought about major conservative achievements as South Carolina Governor and UN Ambassador. Such substance is clearly lacking in candidates like Ramaswamy. Haley has also been an active campaigner in Iowa and New Hampshire, meeting with thousands of people and making a real impact. Unlike DeSantis, the more primary voters see of her, the more they like her. Too much political discourse focuses on the people who are too online rather than the concerns of the normal Americans who decide elections.

It is the quest for normalcy that has helped define Haley and her campaign. Rather than wanting to tear down the whole system, Haley has called for an America that is “strong and proud, not weak and woke.” Narratives of American decline have become endemic on both the Left and Right. It is true that there are structural long-term problems that face the nation, but decline is a choice. America needs a confident leader who is prepared to take the tough decisions to reinvigorate the nation. The new Cold War with the anti-Western coalition of China, Russia, and Iran presents an opportunity for the conservative movement to rally together again in defense of American ideals and institutions. […]

Haley is defending an authentically American conservative tradition. Free enterprise, civil society, and limited government are keystones in her philosophy. Following in the tradition of Reagan and Thatcher, Haley believes in freedom as the key organizing principle of the American nation. The cry of liberty has continually defined the course of American history: independence from the British Empire; the abolition of slavery and expansion of civil rights; victory over Nazism, Fascism, and Communism. These historic achievements were made to defend and expand the freedom of Americans. A conservatism that renounces freedom entirely must also abandon the American political inheritance and the fundamental truths espoused by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence.

Where the commitment to freedom is most contested on the Right is the economy. Economic freedom has undeniably delivered huge gains in generating wealth and innovation and lifting people out of poverty. But economic stagnation has made a comeback across the Western world over the past fifteen years. The result is inflation, low growth, and higher taxes under a bloated state that interferes too much while simultaneously failing to deliver its core responsibilities effectively.

Normies unite!


We Need To Make The Moral Case For Immigration: The Democrats are considering implementing Trumpian new immigration restrictions. This is utterly unacceptable and should shock the conscience. (Nathan J. Robinson, 12/18/23, Current Affairs)

Immigrants are often politically expendable; because they can’t vote, it’s easy for politicians to sacrifice them. And when there are waves of migrants to cities, it’s easy for politicians to demagogue on the issue and say: look at this disaster, this crisis, we must get rid of these people, we need to empower the state, we need to build a wall.

We need to fight this fear-mongering aggressively and to stand strong for the rights of our undocumented sisters and brothers. Bridges not walls. If it’s tough for cities to accommodate the influx of migrants, the solution isn’t to send those migrants back (they wouldn’t have risked the journey if they didn’t have good reason to leave). The solution is to figure out how to accommodate those migrants. In other words, let’s begin from the presumption that we are a humane country, a sanctuary that welcomes those in need. And let’s figure out how to best act on that principle. The policy response to new waves of migration should not be to try to stop it, but to make the process as smooth as possible for both the migrants themselves and the communities they join.

Plenty of Democrats will be all too happy to sell out immigrants. John Fetterman of Pennsylvania, for instance, has supported new migration restrictions, declaring that he is “not a progressive.” (Previously he had declared: “I am a progressive.”) I have no doubt that Joe Biden will embrace Trump’s policies in the name of “compromise” (he previously kept Trump’s asylum restrictions in place, after all), and will help lay the groundwork for Trump’s massive arrest and deportation program during a second term. This should scare us, of course, but I also think we should not be hesitant to make the argument that restrictions on migration are morally the wrong way to deal with people “heading north to escape gang violence, poverty and natural disasters.” Let them in. At least 98 percent of Americans are immigrants or the descendents of immigrants. Many of those ancestors came at a time when there were no border restrictions at all, and anyone was invited in. We’re a richer country now than we ever were then, so there’s no reason we can’t integrate new people (nobody worries that we’re too “full” for people to have more babies, but immigrants are just “babies from elsewhere” and do not hurt the country just as having children doesn’t hurt the country). We should be a pro-immigrant country focused on legalizing the existing undocumented population (so they don’t have to live in constant fear) rather than finding ways to reduce the U.S. population through migration restrictions.

All Joe had to do was not be Donald and he couldn’t even manage that.