- The Colorado Supreme Court declined to hear state Representative Dave Williams’ appeal regarding his name on the ballot.
- Williams sought to have “Let’s Go Brandon” added to the June GOP congressional primary ballot.
- Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold maintained that Williams used a slogan, not a name.
The Colorado Supreme Court, in a unanimous order Friday, declined to hear the appeal in the case of a Colorado lawmaker who sought to use the phrase “Let’s Go Brandon” — an anti-Biden slur — during of a Republican primary ballot in June for the state’s 5th. Congressional District, according to The Gazette.
State Representative Dave Williams, who is challenging GOP congressman Doug Lamborn for eight terms in an intraparty contest, sued Democratic Secretary of State Jena Griswold last week after his office refused to allow his name to appear on the ballot as Dave “Let’s Go Brandon” Williams.
The phrase has become a rallying cry among conservatives to express their displeasure with President Joe Biden. It became part of the GOP lexicon after NBC Sports reporter Kelli Stavast said the crowd in the background of her October 2021 interview with NASCAR driver Brandon Brown chanted, “Let’s go, Brandon.”
However, the audience could be heard shouting the decidedly explicit “F–k Joe Biden.”
Many Republicans said they felt the reporter who used the sanitized language was engaging in a form of media bias, rather than an attempt to avoid violating the Federal Communications Commission’s strict rules against swear words during the NASCAR broadcast.
Williams in court documents said he began using the nickname “Let’s Go Brandon” in December 2021, pointing out that he also uses the phrase in his public communications.
However, the court on Friday 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 standing to prevent it from being printed on the ballot.
Williams appealed the ruling to the Colorado Supreme Court on Thursday, saying it presented “an important issue of consequence,” specifically “the scope of the Secretary of State’s power to ban nicknames on the ballot. vote”. His lawyers argued that McCallin’s ruling should be overturned because Colorado law does not allow a “campaign slogan” exception regarding elections and ballots.
“If the Colorado Supreme Court does not hear this appeal, then they are failing in their duty and lawmakers should cut their salaries or fire them without delay,” Williams said at the time.
After Friday’s decision, Williams strongly criticized the Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling barring her from using the anti-Biden phrase on the ballot.
“At a time when the credibility of the judiciary is in question because of the scandals in which it is implicated, one would think that the Supreme Court of Colorado would at least want to justify the salaries that taxpayers pay them by actually doing their job” , he wrote. in a text message to Colorado Politics. “They are failing in their duty and it is clear that they want to help their fellow Democrats violate the rule of law.”
Griswold has yet to comment on the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision, but on Wednesday she applauded McCallin’s ruling, saying it “affirms that ballot content is not a place for political gambling.”
“As Secretary of State, I will always protect the right of Colorado voters to accessible elections and that includes fair and transparent voting,” she added.