A top Republican official in Missouri is threatening to remove President Joe Biden from appearing on the ballot as retaliation for the determination in two other states that Donald Trump doesn't qualify because he "engaged in insurrection."
"What has happened in Colorado & Maine is disgraceful & undermines our republic," Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft wrote on the social media site X on Friday. "While I expect the Supreme Court to overturn this, if not, Secretaries of State will step in & ensure the new legal standard for @realDonaldTrump applies equally to @JoeBiden!"
Ashcroft's post came shortly after the Supreme Court agreed to review a decision by Colorado's high court that found Trump could be barred from the state's primary ballot because of his actions leading up to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Colorado's Supreme Court based its ruling on the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment, which bars those who "engaged in insurrection" from running for various federal offices.
Ashcroft said in an interview that he tweeted his warning to "remind people of how severe this is."
"I’m 99% certain the Supreme Court will stop it, but if they don’t, chaos is ahead and we’ve got to avoid it," he told NBC News.
Ashcroft said he plans to file an amicus brief — in support of neither party — warning the Supreme Court of what he believes will happen if Colorado’s disqualification is allowed to stand.
"If Democrat states are saying we're not going to let these Republicans run, you bet you're going to see the same thing happening from Republican states. And it's not good," Ashcroft said. "If you're playing a basketball game and the other team doesn't have to dribble the ball, eventually you're going to say, 'Why am I worried about dribbling the ball?'"
Asked how he would disqualify Biden from the ballot for insurrection, Ashcroft said that he's "let an invasion unstopped into our country from the border." Vice President Kamala Harris, he added, "supported people that were rebelling against the U.S. government during the riots in 2020," referring to racial justice protests in the wake of George Floyd's murder.
"If this is the standard, does that suddenly mean she's not allowed to run? None of us can say, because there is no standard," he said.
The Biden campaign did not immediately return a request for comment.
Michon Lindstrom, a spokesperson for Kentucky Secretary of State Michael Adams, said in an email that "our Office is pleased that the U.S. Supreme Court has taken up Donald Trump’s appeal from the Colorado Supreme Court and will ensure clarity and consistency for all Secretaries of State on this question."
Texas' Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick also suggested last month that his state would consider removing Biden as well, "for allowing 8 million people to cross the border since he’s been president, disrupting our state far more than anything anyone else has done in recent history."
Trump remains on the ballot in Colorado and Maine — which both hold their primaries on Super Tuesday (March 5) — while the cases go through the legal system.
The Maine case is slightly different than the one in Colorado. There, the Democratic secretary of state made the determination that Trump was ineligible for the ballot.
Ashcroft said he broadly didn't believe secretaries should be involved in deciding who is on the ballot.
"I don't want to go there," he said. "I'm scared for what it means for our election."