Trump Disqualified from 2024 Colorado Ballot

The Colorado Supreme Court’s recent decision to disqualify former President Donald Trump from the state’s 2024 Republican presidential primary ballot has set a precedent in U.S. election law.

The ruling, based on the Constitution’s insurrection clause, is a significant development in the ongoing legal battles surrounding Trump’s eligibility for public office.

The court’s majority stated,

“We conclude that because President Trump is disqualified from holding the office of President under Section Three, it would be a wrongful act under the Election Code for the Secretary to list President Trump as a candidate.”

This statement reflects the court’s interpretation of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which aims to prevent individuals involved in insurrection from holding state or federal office.

Lawsuits Across the Nation

More than 25 states have seen lawsuits challenging Trump’s candidacy for the 2024 election. The Colorado case, brought by six voters, represents the most immediate threat to his campaign.

The case hinges on whether Section 3 of the 14th Amendment bars Trump from holding the nation’s highest office, given his actions related to the January 6 insurrection.

A trial court in Denver previously ruled that the events of January 6 satisfy the definition of insurrection and that Trump engaged in it through incitement. However, the court was unclear whether Section 3 covered the presidency, leading to the Colorado Supreme Court’s review.

Judicial Deliberation

Justice Carlos Samour raised questions about why the presidency wasn’t explicitly listed in Section 3, while Justice Richard Gabriel countered,

“How is it not absurd to say anybody who engaged in insurrection can’t serve in office except the president, or former president, or a vice president?”

The Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling could influence other states. For instance, in Michigan, a judge ruled that it’s up to Congress to determine Trump’s disqualification, while the Minnesota Supreme Court dismissed a similar lawsuit, citing its jurisdiction over “internal party elections.”

A Historic Context

Enacted in 1868, Section 3 of the 14th Amendment was originally intended to keep former Confederate officers from serving in government. Its modern application to a former president is unprecedented.

Trump’s legal team is likely to appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, setting up a crucial showdown over his eligibility. Meanwhile, the Colorado Supreme Court has stayed its decision until January 4, 2024, or until the U.S. Supreme Court rules.

This case adds another layer to the legal challenges facing Trump and his campaign, including a criminal case related to the 2020 election, which is set to go to trial in March if it proceeds.

With information from CBS News

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