Fact Check: Military Did NOT Arrest 'Second' Colorado Supreme Court Justice

Fact Check

  • by: Alexis Tereszcuk

STORY UPDATED: check for updates below.

Fact Check: Military Did NOT Arrest 'Second' Colorado Supreme Court Justice Did Not Happen

Did the U.S. military arrest a "second" Colorado Supreme Court justice who voted in favor of removing former President Donald Trump from the ballot in the state for the 2024 presidential election? No, that's not true: A spokesman for the Colorado Judicial Department told Lead Stories, "There is absolutely no veracity to that claim." The article making the claim is a made-up story published on a website that has a disclaimer that states it publishes "humor, parody, and satire" content. The website previously falsely claimed a Colorado Supreme Court judge was arrested amid the political controversy, and the more recent claim names Justice William Hood as the purported second judge.

The claim appeared in an article published by Real Raw News on January 2, 2024, titled "Military Arrests Second Colorado Supreme Court Justice" (archived here). It began:

United States Special Forces on New Year's Eve arrested a second Colorado Supreme Court Justice who voted to unlawfully remove President Donald J. Trump's name from the state's 2024 primary ballot, a source in General Eric M. Smith's office told Real Raw News.

This is how the article appeared at the time of writing:

Screen Shot 2024-01-03 at 11.34.50 AM.png

(Source: realrawnews.com screenshot taken on Wed Jan 3 15:12:18 2023 UTC)

The article claimed:

At approximately 11:00 p.m. EST, a Special Forces detachment breached the front door to the Port Saint Lucie, Florida, home where Justice William Hood had been hiding since December 27, when his Colorado address was posted online and he allegedly began receiving death threats from, according to FBI Director Christopher Wray, 'angry, disgruntled MAGA.'

An arrest of a major figure in politics who is one of the justices who ruled that Trump should be removed from the ballot in the 2024 presidential election in Colorado would have garnered national and international news coverage. However, a Google search (archived here) of the keywords "colorado justice william hood arrested by us military" yielded zero credible results.

Some details of this article are based on reality and others are totally fabricated. There was a Colorado Supreme Court decision on December 19, 2023, made with a 4-3 majority (archived here). The ruling (PDF here and archived here) found that, under Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution's 14th Amendment (archived here) Trump is ineligible to hold the office of president and should be removed from the 2024 Colorado primary ballot. The names of the four Colorado justices appearing in the Real Raw News article, as well as U.S. Navy Vice Adm. Darse E. Crandall (archived here), U.S. Marine Corps Gen. Eric M. Smith (archived here) and FBI Director Christopher Wray (archived here) are real names belonging to people with these roles, but there is no evidence or any indication that they sought to arrest any of the Colorado Supreme Court justices.

Lead Stories reached out to the Colorado Supreme Court for comment. Colorado Judicial Department Deputy Public Information Officer Jon Sarché responded by email on January 3, 2023, writing: "There is absolutely no veracity to that claim."

Lead Stories debunked an earlier Real Raw News claim about a Colorado Supreme Court justice purportedly being arrested. That story is here.

Lead Stories reached out to the U.S. Department of Defense for comment on claims in the Real Raw News article involving the military, and will update this story if a response is received.

Real Raw News

Real Raw News has a long history of publishing false claims in mock news stories, many of them about convictions and executions of various public figures at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. For example, the site reported former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was hanged (she wasn't); former White House Chief of Staff John Podesta was executed (he wasn't); and "the military" convicted former Attorney General William Barr on charges of treason (it didn't).

The website for Real Raw News includes a disclaimer that declares the site does not stand by the contents of the stories, calling them entertainment. Specifically, it says:

Information on this website is for informational and educational and entertainment purposes. ... We have included this disclaimer for our protection, on the advice on legal counsel.

Real Raw snip.jpg

(Source: RealRawNews.com screenshot taken Tue Aug 3 16:39:48 UTC 2021)

Lead Stories has covered claims published by Real Raw News in the past. Previous Lead Stories debunks of Real Raw News items are collected here.


  • 2024-01-04T01:45:29Z 2024-01-04T01:45:29Z
    Updated with spokesman for the Colorado Judicial Department telling Lead Stories there is no truth to the claim.

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  Alexis Tereszcuk

Alexis Tereszcuk is a writer and fact checker at Lead Stories and an award-winning journalist who spent over a decade breaking hard news and celebrity scoop with RadarOnline and Us Weekly.

As the Entertainment Editor, she investigated Hollywood stories and conducted interviews with A-list celebrities and reality stars.  

Alexis’ crime reporting earned her spots as a contributor on the Nancy Grace show, CNN, Fox News and Entertainment Tonight, among others.

Read more about or contact Alexis Tereszcuk

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