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Colorado Court Says GOP Lawmaker Can’t Use ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ on Ballot

  • The Colorado Supreme Court refused to hear state Rep. Dave Williams’ appeal of his name on the ballot.
  • Williams sought to add “Let’s Go Brandon” to the GOP’s June congressional primary ticket.
  • Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold argued that Williams used a slogan and not a name.

The Colorado Supreme Court, in a unanimous order Friday, refused to hear the appeal in the case of a Colorado lawmaker who attempted to use the phrase “Let’s Go Brandon,” an anti-Biden slur, on a Republican primary ballot. June for the state. Congressional District, according to The Gazette.

State Representative Dave Williams, who is challenging eight-term Republican Congressman Doug Lamborn in an internal party race, sued Democratic Secretary of State Jena Griswold last week after her office refused to allow his name to appear on the ballot. electoral as Dave “Let’s Go Brandon” Williams. .

The phrase has become a rallying cry among conservatives to record their discontent with President Joe Biden. It became part of the Republican lexicon after NBC Sports reporter Kelli Stavast said the crowd in the background of her October 2021 interview with NASCAR driver Brandon Brown was chanting, “Come on, Brandon.”

However, the audience could be heard shouting the decidedly explicit “F–k Joe Biden.”

Many Republicans have said they feel the reporter who used the sanitized language was engaging in a form of media bias, rather than trying to avoid violating the Federal Communications Commission’s strict rules against swearing during the NASCAR broadcast.

Williams in court papers said he began using the moniker “Let’s Go Brandon” in December 2021, noting that he also used the phrase in his public communications.

However, on Friday the court allowed Denver Judge Andrew McCallin’s earlier ruling to stand.

McCallin discovered Wednesday that Williams used the phrase as a nickname, but agreed that Griswold had the right to prevent it from being printed on the ballot.

Williams appealed the ruling Thursday to the Colorado Supreme Court, saying it raised “an important issue of consequence,” specifically the “extent of the secretary of state’s authority to ban nicknames on the ballot.” His attorneys argued that McCallin’s ruling should be thrown out because Colorado law does not allow a “campaign slogan” exception with respect to elections and ballots.

“If the Colorado Supreme Court does not hear this appeal, then they have failed in their duty and lawmakers should take their wages or move to fire them without delay,” Williams said at the time.

After Friday’s ruling, Williams sharply criticized the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision that prevents her from using the anti-Biden phrase on the ballot.

“At a time when the credibility of the judiciary is in question due to the scandals it is embroiled in, one would think the Colorado Supreme Court would want to at least justify the salaries taxpayers provide them by actually doing their job,” he wrote. . in a text message to Colorado Politics. “They have failed in their duty and it is clear that they want to help their fellow Democrats violate the rule of law.”

Griswold has not yet ruled on the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision, but on Wednesday he applauded McCallin’s ruling, saying he “affirms that the contents of the ballot are not a venue for political games.”

“As secretary of state, I will always protect the right of Colorado voters to accessible elections, and that includes a ballot that is fair and transparent,” she added.