Standing Up for Our Democracy and Impeachment

Almost two years ago, I spoke to a group of engaged citizens at the State Capitol, on President’s Day, to talk about an affront to our constitutional separation of powers.  The President had just announced the illegal diversion of funds to build a border wall.  We challenged that railroading of Congress’s power in court and, as has occurred repeatedly over the last four years, the courts checked the illegal action of this President.

Today, this President continues to abuse his power, and act without regard for the law, for his office, or for decency towards others.  This has led to an attack on our democratic republic itself, to the theft and vandalism of public property, to the desecration of the United States Capitol, and to the deaths of five Americans.  We are left with no other option: this President must be removed from office.

These last two years, our office acted again and again to defend the Rule of Law and challenge this President’s disregard for our Constitution.  From illegally shuffling taxpayer funds from our military to fund his border wall to illegally ending DACA to the abuse of the Postal Service to attempts to overturn the results of the Presidential election.

This past week, this President once again abused his office, acting illegally and dangerously.  And for what?  For the sole reason of advancing his own political and personal interests.  

And let’s not forget that, over this past week, his unlawful actions weren’t just limited to the violence on Wednesday.  Just days earlier, we learned of his calls to Georgia election officials, pressuring them to commit illegal acts and find enough votes to overturn his defeat in that state.  He refused to do so.  Let us always give credit to public officials who do the right thing, regardless of party.   Closer to home, former Republican Speaker of the Colorado House Russ George just condemned Lauren Boebert for her failure of leadership and actions that contributed to the attack on the Capitol.

This week marked a new low from this White House, with the unprecedented and previously unthinkable actions of a President urging his supporters to interfere with the operation of another branch of government as it certified a presidential election.  Those rioters—who desecrated the hallowed halls of the Capitol, destroyed government property, assaulted Capitol staff, and even murdered a Capitol Police officer—must be held accountable for their actions.  And the President who egged them on must be held accountable as well—and not allowed to further harm our nation.  

If the Vice President and Cabinet won’t invoke the 25th Amendment to protect the country when the president is unfit, Congress must act and condemn his abuse of power and undermining of our Constitution.  It is important that the voice of “We The People” be heard at this critical moment in our history.

Going forward, we cannot stop with the condemnation of the abuses of power by our current President.  We must do the work of building up the leadership our nation needs,  rebuilding our democratic institutions, and recommitting ourselves to the Rule of Law and equal justice for all.  Let us come together to fight for America.  Let us follow the examples set by Presidents Washington and Lincoln, civil rights leaders Martin Luther King, Cesar Chavez, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and legislators John Lewis and Stacey Abrams.  

Thanks to the voters of Georgia, particularly in the African American community, we now add Reverend Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossof to the list of leaders who will help rebuild America.  And I sure do like the sound of Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.  Thanks to the work of so many here, and across the United States, the U.S. Senate can be a force for—and not a brake on—progress.  

President’s Day will be soon upon us again and this year we will have a new President and Vice President, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.  As we open a new chapter in our history, let us be guided by the example of President Lincoln.  Lincoln called on us to heed the voices of our better angels.  In his Second Inaugural Address, Lincoln uttered these powerful words that resonate today: “with malice toward none; with charity for all, with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds.”  We all know we have much work to do to rebuild and renew our democratic republic.  By doing that work, we can realize Lincoln’s vision for our democracy—“a government of the people, by the people, for the people.

Thank you for your engagement and commitment to our important work ahead.  It is an honor to serve you and work with you.

 


The Continued Work of Defending Our Democracy

When I was running for Colorado Attorney General in 2018, I often talked about our democracy being at stake. Since my election, I have fought to preserve the rights of Coloradans, including the right to vote.  After the events of the last several months, it is clear how vulnerable our democratic norms actually are—and how much work we need to do to defend the rule of law and our democratic institutions.

Because of my deep commitment to defending our democracy, I am running for re-election to build on our work together.  

In 2020, we witnessed unprecedented attacks on our democratic institutions.  To protect our democracy, we went all the way to the Supreme Court—and won. We brought a case involving the threat that “faithless” Presidential electors would disregard the will of the people.  Last May, in the final case heard by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, we prevailed in a unanimous decision.  This victory proved important last fall when we faced the threat that electors from some states would be pressured to go against the will of the voters, in defiance of the results in our Presidential election. And we once again stood up for our democracy and the rule of law this fall in opposing a petition by Texas at the Supreme Court that attempted to override how other states manage their elections, as explained in this op-ed

Last summer, we also went to court here in Colorado (and joined a multistate effort) to stop the US Postal Service’s plans that would have undermined the delivery of ballots by mail.  This effort was a true partnership between the Attorney General’s office and the people we serve. When we asked you to share stories of degraded mail delivery, we received scores of stories. We used several of them to make our case successfully and to secure relief.     We fought for our voting rights together, and Colorado won.  And we successfully sued the Postal Service a second time—and won again—to address the sending of misleading postcards to Colorado voters.

We also witnessed the threat—and use—of voter intimidation during the last election.  We stood strong with leaders across our state to make clear that it would not be tolerated.  And when one landlord resorted to such tactics, threatening vulnerable individuals, we took action and secured relief.

In the future, we need other states to adopt Colorado’s pro-democracy measures, making it easy and safe to vote at home.  We also must work together to address the holes in our campaign finance system created by the dangerous and wrongly decided Citizens United case.  Working with other State AGs, we sought to challenge that decision at the Supreme Court last year.  The Court declined to take this opportunity, but we will persevere in this fight.

I am committed as ever to serving as the “People’s Lawyer” as your Attorney General.  This means that all we do in our office will be inspired by President Lincoln’s definition of democracy: a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”  

As you have often heard me state, our democracy is a team sport.  That means that all of us must continue to be out on the field, doing the work of moving our nation toward a more perfect union, and defending, renewing, and rebuilding our institutions that have come under attack.  Together, we still have important work to do.  Please join me in continuing to stand up for our state and our country as I run for reelection. Together, we can prevail in this election, and we can make sure that we continue to defend our democracy in 2022 and beyond.