Former U.S. Rep. Peter Meijer, R-Grand Rapids, this week filed a Friend of the Court brief with the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing that the Colorado Supreme Court has no standing to remove Donald Trump’s name from the state’s primary ballot.

“The Colorado Supreme Court’s opinion is an affront to the very democracy it purports to protect, and Mr. Meijer respectfully urges this Court to grant the relief requested by Petitioner,” Meijer’s attorneys from the law firm Dickinson Wright wrote.

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As noted in the brief: “Days after taking the oath of office and beginning his work as a congressman, Mr. Meijer was inside the Capitol building when the riots broke out on January 6, 2021, and was hastily evacuated with his colleagues from the House Floor. Mr. Meijer voted for the impeachment of former President Donald J. Trump for his activities related to January 6, one of only ten House Republicans to do so. Mr. Meijer therefore has a unique and demonstrable interest in this case.”

The Colorado Supreme Court referenced a Reconstruction-era clause in the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution that labels former members of the Confederacy “insurrectionists” and banned them from seeking public office. It’s the same clause the Colorado court quoted when it erased Donald J. Trump from the state’s primary ballot, saying he fomented an “insurrection” on Jan. 6, 2021, when protestors entered the U.S. Capitol.

Meijer’s brief states that the Colorado Supreme Court justices inserted themselves into the political process thereby thwarting the will of voters. Saying the Court’s determination will sow future chaos, Meijer’s brief continues: “[T]he opinion also charts a clear path for arbitrary political pretexts to remove political candidate options from consideration by voters, both in this election with respect to former President Trump, and in countless future elections against candidates on both sides of the aisle.”

The brief also notes that allowing the Colorado Court’s ruling to stand would open the door for mischief for anyone seeking political office who has at one time employed fiery rhetoric:

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“The Colorado Supreme Court’s interpretation of Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment transforms the prohibition from one that disqualifies individuals who served in an organization akin to the Confederacy, to one that punishes on a much larger scale, for much smaller offenses. Indeed, the majority’s interpretation could be easily applied to indirect or inchoate offenses, such as mere speech, ‘attempted insurrection or rebellion, conspiracy to commit insurrection or rebellion, or accessory liability (before- or after-the-fact) in relation to insurrection or rebellion.'”

The brief argues that using the Colorado Supreme Court’s logic, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s name should be stricken from any future election ballots for her role in a 2012 Right to Work protest at the Michigan State Capitol.

In 2012, then-Senate Minority Leader Whitmer let protestors enter the Capitol through her office window.

The protest received national coverage as an estimated 10,000 protesters swarmed the Capitol grounds and entered the Capitol building to fill the rotunda. What ensued was a violent fracas with then-Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer allowing protestors to enter the building through her first-floor office window. Whitmer was also recorded leading protestors with fiery rhetoric such as “We’re gonna fight! Are you?” The crowd responded with an emphatic “Yeah!”

The Meijer brief reads, “Again, a clever recitation of the facts—and a faithful application of the majority opinion—supports a claim that Governor Whitmer is not eligible for office under Section Three. In an effort to halt government business in passing a right to work law, then-Senator Whitmer championed the protestors. Based on actual events, her political opponents could claim (and have claimed) that when the protestors could not get inside of the building, Whitmer ‘opened her ground-floor Capitol office window to let them in.’ The protests were not peaceful. Because of the size and unruly behavior of the crowd that then-Senator Whitmer purportedly aided, the state Capitol building went under lockdown. Because the demonstrators, or ‘insurrectionists,’ would not relent, police had to use force and ‘chemical munitions’ to disburse and subdue the mob. Eight people were arrested.

“Given these events, if Section Three means what the Colorado Supreme Court claims, Governor Whitmer could be excluded from the ballot due to ‘insurrectionist’ activities, based on a purported attempt to halt government proceedings with the force of a mob.”

The brief makes a similar argument about U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib:

It has already been argued that her actions on October 18, 2023—when she participated in an anti- Israel demonstration at the Capitol—amounted to an “insurrection or rebellion” under Section Three. That day, Representative Tlaib spoke at a rally, and in her remarks she criticized Israeli military actions and falsely accused Israel of an attack on a civilian hospital several days prior. Hundreds of anti-Israel protestors gathered both inside and outside of the U.S. Capitol, and then engaged in a massive disruption inside a House office building, which forced Capitol Police to maintain order and to ensure that lawmakers could safely conduct business by arresting approximately 300 people. Based on her rhetoric and participation with the protest, Representative Tlaib was censured by the House of Representatives in a bipartisan vote. H.R. 845, 118th Cong. (2023).

Given these facts, if the Colorado Supreme Court’s loose definition of insurrection is permitted to stand, Representative Tlaib’s political opponents could file suit on the theory that Tlaib incited a coordinated effort to illegally obstruct Congressional action in an effort to stop the government from supporting Israel. In fact, Representative Tlaib was censured by the House of Representatives. H.R. 845, 118th Cong. (2023). That censure explicitly recognized that “Israel is a critical ally to the American people and to our strategic national security interests the Middle East,” and that nevertheless, Representative Tlaib had engaged in the following activities: (1) “knowingly spread the false narrative that Israel intentionally bombed the Al-Ahli Arab Hospital on October 17”; (2) “published on social media a video containing the phrase ‘from the river to the sea’, which is widely recognized as a genocidal call to violence to destroy the state of Israel and its people to replace it with a Palestinian state extending from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea”; and (3) “doubled down on this call to violence by falsely describing [that phrase] as ‘an aspirational call for freedom, human rights, and peaceful coexistence’”; and (4) “calling for the destruction of the state of Israel and dangerously promoting false narratives.” H.R. 845, 118th Cong. (2023).

The language in Representative Tlaib’s censure could thus support the notion that she gave aid or comfort to an enemy to the United States, in violation of Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment. Armed with these facts (and if accomplished within the confines of Michigan election law), Representative Tlaib could be prevented from appearing on any future ballot.