It’s that time again. Welcome back to the ninth edition of our weekly roundups, where we keep you up to date and in the know about all things 2024 US presidential election-themed. If you haven’t already, make sure to go back and check out all of our previous articles so that you’re even more politically equipped than Donald Trump—not that that would be a hard feat…
This week, we’re going to be unpacking all of the latest updates regarding ongoing efforts from multiple US states to try and keep Trump’s name off of the 2024 presidential ballot and the key takeaways from both Ron DeSantis’ and Nikki Haley’s town hall meetings. Moreover, we’ll also look at some of the most viral takes from social media users regarding the impending election.
On Tuesday 19 December 2023, Colorado’s Supreme Court, in an unprecedented move, ruled that Trump’s candidacy in the state’s primary in 2024 was unconstitutional in alignment with Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. In short, the ruling is directly in correlation with Trump’s involvement in the Capitol insurrection on 6 January 2021.
This specific section of the constitution states that “no person shall […] hold any office, civil or military, under the United States […] who, having previously taken an oath […] as an officer of the United States, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”
And, post-deliberation, Colorado’s Supreme Court ultimately decided that: “Our independent review of the record in this case brings us to the same conclusion: President Trump incited and encouraged the use of violence and lawless action to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power.”
According to NBC News, the Colorado Republicans have vehemently contested this decision and have launched their own appeal to reverse the decision.
On 3 January 2024, Trump asked the US Supreme Court to overturn the ruling, with his team putting out a statement that the decision was an “unAmerican, unconstitutional act of election interference,” as reported by NBC News.
Shortly after Colorado’s ruling, on 28 December, Maine also announced that it would be removing the former President’s name from the ballot, citing the same constitutional violation.
In response, Trump’s lawyers have accused Maine secretary of state Shenna Bellows, the Democrat who ultimately made the decision, of being biased and not giving Trump an adequate opportunity to legally defend himself, as reported by The Guardian.
While both Maine and Colorado’s decisions have been appealed and therefore remain under review, it’s clear that Trump’s grip on the US is weakening by the day and it’s changing the entire election playing field.
On 4 January, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley put on their ‘best’ shows during a televised town hall meeting in Iowa.
Both Haley and DeSantis spent much of the meeting emphasising the unelectability of Trump and stressing how his return to the White House would not be a good thing. While Haley prioritised convincing Republicans of her fiscal responsibility and practicality, DeSantis seemingly wanted to show off more of his inner self and, as CNN reports, a more “relatable” side of his personality.
Specifically in regard to Trump, Haley stated: “Chaos follows him. And we can’t have a country in disarray and a world on fire and go through four more years of chaos. We won’t survive it.”
The two Republicans also spoke about gun violence, a highly sensitive topic in Iowa considering that just hours prior to the event, there was a school shooting in which one middle school student was killed and five others injured.
And, as is so often the case, Haley cited mental health as the sole issue: “We could go and take away a certain kind of gun today, and that would make you feel better today. But a week from now, there’d be another shooting. Instead, why don’t we do the hard work and deal with the mental health? If we start to do that, I know that we will see a reduction in what’s happening.”
This year’s election is set out to be one of the most important moments in US history, both in relation to its impact on democracy and the prevalence of misinformation online. And netizens have a lot to say about it. Of course, when I use the verb “say,” I mean make disparaging videos and memes. And I’m here for it.