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Cardano founder and Ripple CTO at odds over Trump’s removal from Colorado ballot

Cardano founder and Ripple CTO at odds over Trump’s removal from Colorado ballot

After the Colorado Supreme Court removed Donald Trump from the state’s 2024 ballot under the United States Constitution’s insurrection clause, Cardano (ADA) founder Charles Hoskinson and Ripple’s chief technical officer (CTO) David Schwartz had a heated debate over it.

Indeed, quoting independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who argued that this decision should trouble every American, Hoskinson accused the judges of hating Trump so much that they “are willing to abandon the bedrock of innocent until proven guilty to keep him out of office” in an X post on December 20.

As he added, “I guess the United States now operates under the new precedent of punish first and convict in a court of law later,” referring to the ruling as “profoundly dangerous for all Americans” and “a new arbitrary standard (…) that doesn’t require a conviction through an official process to uphold.”

Ripple CTO begs to differ

In response to his observation, the Ripple CTO pointed out that “you can’t convict someone of something that’s not a crime,” as well as that “the 14th Amendment does not require a crime to trigger the eligibility bar,” hence it was impossible to “coherently argue that the 14th Amendment requires a conviction.”

Replying to Schwartz, the Cardano pioneer noted that this was “not how the law works,” explaining that the amendment in question came to be “in reference to agents of the US government who left to join the Confederacy,” adding that “due process is a bedrock of the constitution.” As he added:

“Insurrection against the US government is a well-understood activity, and there exist laws and law enforcement actions to pursue it. A court has the power to apply reasonable and fair punishments after those measures have succeeded, but not before.”

In retort, Schwartz called his reasoning “a bunch of complete and utter ‘feel good’ nonsense,” arguing that “none of that is true and none of that makes any sense” and drawing a parallel with age, stating that “you don’t have to be convicted of being under 35 to be barred from the ballot for being under 35.”

Furthermore, he opined that “it’s obvious nonsense to argue that the government needs a criminal conviction to deprive you of a benefit only the government can give. (…) This is complete and utter garbage. There are legitimate arguments that this court ruling is wrong, but this is *absolutely* not one of them.”

“You can be denied a driver’s license for failing an eye test. You have a problem with it? You sue. And governments can impose all kinds of penalties short of jail on people with civil and even administrative proceedings.”

Cardano founder’s reasoning

However, Hoskinson disagreed with his reasoning, explaining that, in this case, “the government has the burden of proof that the individual is disqualified,” that there is “a well-accepted process to satisfy this burden,” and “some process of conviction occurs either through impeachment and removal from office or a judicial action.”

Finally, he concluded that:

“Trump will likely get convicted of several crimes, including the charges brought forth by Jack Smith. Then, it’s entirely appropriate for the Colorado courts to view those convictions from a 14th Amendment lens.”

Interestingly, Cardano’s founder has been at odds with Ripple and the crowd around the XRP token for quite some time now, particularly regarding his views on the courtroom battle between the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Ripple, more recently reaffirming his stance against partnership with XRP.

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