In the wake of the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision to remove former President Donald Trump from the ballot in the March 5 primary, US Sen. Thom Tillis, R-NC, said he would introduce legislation that would prevent similar future actions. 

In a press release, Tillis said the Constitutional Election Integrity Act clarifies that the United States Supreme Court has sole jurisdiction to decide claims arising out of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment of the Constitution. If approved, the legislation would withhold federal funding for election administration from states that misuse the 14th Amendment for political purposes.   

“Regardless of whether you support or oppose former President Donald Trump, it is outrageous to see left-wing activists make a mockery of our political system by scheming with partisan state officials and pressuring judges to remove him from the ballot,” Tillis said. “American voters, not partisan activists, should decide who we elect as our President. The Constitutional Election Integrity Act would put any constitutional challenges in the sole place they belong: the U.S. Supreme Court.”

Fellow Republicans echoed Tillis’ sentiments, including North Carolina Congressman Dan Bishop, who is also the Republican candidate for attorney general. Bishop said he read all 213 pages of opinions in the Colorado Supreme Court ruling. 

Congressman Dan Bishop, R-NC, X page, Dec. 20, 2023.

“SCOTUS will reverse, but this parody of judicial decision-making is a frightening sign how far gone our judiciary is,” he said. “This is frightening stuff and could unleash very bad consequences if it stands. But it would appear that SCOTUS will get a crack at this very quickly, and that has the potential to put a lot of craziness to bed. Hang on tight: the efforts to rig elections just keep coming.”

On Wednesday, NC House Speaker Tim Moore, R-Cleveland; and Rep. Grey Mills, R-Iredell, the chairman of the House’s election committee, announced in a joint statement that they will look into ways to ensure Donald Trump remains on North Carolina’s election ballot in 2024.

“In light of recent efforts by activists both here in North Carolina and other [states], we believe it is necessary for us to explore legislative action to ensure the Democratic majority on the NC State Board of Elections does not have unchecked authority to remove a major political party’s nominee from the ballot. North Carolina will be a critical state in the upcoming presidential election, and removing a leading candidate in this race like President Trump would be an affront to democracy.”

Moore and Mills are both running for Congress in 2024. Moore is seeking to represent a redrawn 14th District, a seat now held by Democrat Jeff Jackson. Jackson declined to seek re-election in a more Republican-leaning district. Jackson is running instead for state attorney general.

Meanwhile, Mills dropped plans to run for re-election to the state House when US Rep. Patrick McHenry decided not to seek re-election after 20 years in Washington. Mills is running to succeed McHenry in North Carolina’s 10th Congressional District.

The NC elections board also considered the issue this week but voted it down, 4-1. Democratic board member Siobhan Miller cast the lone “no” vote.

While the elections board “delayed consideration of the matter,” “Democrats may bring the matter up again before the general election,” according to a news release tied to the joint statement.

Brian Martin, an attorney and businessman from Sandy Ridge in Stokes County filed a complaint Monday stating that Trump was not qualified to run as a candidate because he engaged in insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021, after having previously taken an oath to support the Constitution as an officer of the United States, thereby violating Section 3 of the 14th Amendment.

Martin’s 27-page complaint also offered the NCSBE a suggestion: to read, if they chose, an article by two conservative law professors from the University of Pennsylvania, who are “active members of The Federalist Society, a group advocating ‘originalism’ — the method of interpreting The Constitution by its plain meaning at the time it was drafted and ratified.”

Paul Cox, the elections board’s counsel, said that North Carolina’s law was too vague on the subject, and the board doesn’t have the proper authority to decide who to keep off the ballot at this point. 

Moore responded to the complaint on Tuesday.

“The complaint filed with the NCSBE against President Trump has entirely no merit and has one aim — to deny North Carolina voters their Constitutional right to decide for themselves who our next president will be,” Moore said. “Rather than let the voters decide, some activists would prefer to effectively silence the former President. I wholeheartedly condemn this malicious attempt to interfere with our elections here in North Carolina.”