Some local politicians and political experts say the Colorado Supreme Court made a historically unprecedented decision Tuesday in its ruling to ban former president Donald Trump from the state’s presidential primary ballot.

The United States has not been this polarized since the Civil War, former Republican Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman said Tuesday evening. When she heard the news of Colorado’s decision, Wyman said she was “speechless.”

Each state has its unique way to choose presidential candidates. Some states have caucuses, while other states have primaries. Three states previously ruled against litigation to take Trump off their respective ballots. The issue is pending in many other states.

Deep divisions along party lines today pose the biggest threat to democracy the United States has seen in centuries, said Cornell Clayton, director of the Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service at Washington State University.

Clayton said in an interview that he is almost certain the U.S. Supreme Court will overturn Colorado’s decision to ban Trump from the ballot. A central question in the case is whether the original framers of the Constitution intended the president to be considered an officer of the United States.

“There’s overwhelming evidence to show that the original framers considered the president an officer,” Clayton said. “It’s going to be very hard to write an originalist opinion finding the 14th Amendment does not consider the president to be an officer of the United States.”

Clayton added that resounding scholarly legal opinion considers the president to be an officer of the United States, and an overturn of Colorado’s decision would mean the conservative-led Supreme Court would be going against its standard belief that the Constitution should be enforced the way it’s written.

“I think it would behoove everybody to read this opinion – whether you support Trump or don’t support Trump – in terms of thinking about who we’re voting for,” Clayton said. “This is an extremely educational moment for the country. It should lead Americans to understand that the only thing that unites a country so deeply polarized is the Constitution, or better put, the rules of the game.”

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