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Week in CT news: Trump and the ballot, wet winter weather, UConn drops Big East opener

A truck passes through flood waters on Route 32 in Mansfield, Ct., December 18, 2023, as strong winds and heavy rain across Connecticut left more that 75,000 people without power, closed schools and snarled traffic.
Mark Mirko
Connecticut Public
A truck passes through flood waters on Route 32 in Mansfield, Ct., December 18, 2023, as strong winds and heavy rain across Connecticut left more that 75,000 people without power, closed schools and snarled traffic.

As Trump banned from Colorado primary ballot, Connecticut election officials wait to see what happens next  

A divided Colorado Supreme Court this week declared former President Donald Trump ineligible for the White House under the U.S. Consititution’s insurrection clause, and removed him from the state’s primary ballot.

Now, lawyers for Trump, and the office of the top election official in Connecticut, are waiting to see if the U.S. Supreme Court will intervene in the Colorado case and overturn the ruling.

Central to the Colorado decision was the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment, which may prevent anyone who swore on the Constitution and then “engaged in insurrection” from holding office.

The office of Stephanie Thomas, Connecticut’s Secretary of State, has been reviewing the law and says while it has some discretion over where names get placed on a ballot, eliminating a candidate entirely under the 14th Amendment is beyond its purview.

“The Secretary does not have jurisdiction over determining whether the Fourteenth Amendment disqualifies Donald J. Trump from appearing on either the Presidential Preference Primary ballot or the general election ballot of November 2024,” said Jillian Hirst, Thomas’ press secretary, in a statement.

“Only a court does,” Hirst said.

Thomas’ office is calling on the nation’s highest court to intervene.

“The varying state court rulings qualifying and disqualifying President Trump from state ballots raises concerns of potential national electoral process confusion. It would be in the best interest of our country’s democracy for the U.S. Supreme Court to adjudicate the issue and provide direction to the states.”

Litigation challenging Trump’s presidential eligibility is active in 13 states, according to NPR.

Connecticut’s year of rain rolls into December

Another wet storm hit Connecticut this week, bringing heavy rain, strong winds and knocking out power to tens of thousands of electricity customers.

The storm added four inches of rain to the annual rainfall totals in parts of Connecticut. In the Hartford area, residents are seeing almost 20 more inches of precipitation in 2023 than they would normally see in a given year, according to the National Weather Service.

The lack of snow in the most recent storm, coupled with a lack of snow in the forecast as of Thursday, means Connecticut will most likely not experience a white Christmas in 2023.

The UConn men lost to Big East rival Seton Hall Wednesday

The University of Connecticut men’s basketball team lost its second game of the season Wednesday, 75-60 to Seton Hall University.

It was the first conference game of the season for the Huskies and it didn’t end well. On top of the loss, sophomore center Donovan Clingan suffered an ankle injury.

The UConn men fell to 10-2 on the season. The UConn women are 9-3 after two wins this week.

The women’s team is currently ranked No. 17 in the nation – their lowest mark in 30 years.

Frankie & Johnny premieres Fridays at 4:44 p.m. during All Things Considered on Connecticut Public Radio. Connecticut Public’s Matt Dwyer, Garett Argianas, Patrick Skahill, and The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Frankie Graziano is the host of The Wheelhouse, focusing on how local and national politics impact the people of Connecticut.
John Henry Smith is Connecticut Public’s host of All Things Considered, its flagship afternoon news program. He's proud to be a part of the team that won a regional Emmy Award for The Vote: A Connecticut Conversation. In his 21st year as a professional broadcaster, he’s covered both news and sports.

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