Colorado Court Bans Fmr. Pres Trump From Ballot

December 20, 2023
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A majority of the court holds that Trump is disqualified from holding the office of president under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment.

The Colorado Supreme Court in a historic, first-of-its-kind decision that former President Trump cannot run for president in the state of Colorado because he violated the U.S. Constitution’s insurrection clause.

Why It Matters: No court in American history has used this ruling to prevent a presidential candidate from running for office.

Here’s Section 3 of the 14th amendment:

Section 3 Disqualification from Holding Office

No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.”

Statement From Court: “We do not reach these conclusions lightly. We are mindful of the magnitude and weight of the questions now before us. We are likewise mindful of our solemn duty to apply the law, without fear or favor, and without being swayed by public reaction to the decisions that the law mandates we reach.”

Statement from Fmr. Pres. Trump’s team: “This ruling, issued by the Colorado Supreme Court, attacks the very heart of this nation’s democracy. It will not stand, and we trust that the Supreme Court will reverse this unconstitutional order.”

A few things to know:

• The decision was a split decision 4-3 (signifying division in the court).

• This ruling will likely be appealed to the Supreme Court – whether or not the Justices will take the case remains TBD.

• The term “insurrection” has often been used to describe the events of January 6th along partisan lines. President Trump has never been charged or convicted with the crime of insurrection – the case filed against him by the Justice Department in Washington D.C. includes charges “conspiring to defraud the United States, conspiring to disenfranchise voters, and conspiring and attempting to obstruct an official proceeding.” The special counsel overseeing that case recently appealed to the Supreme Court to answer a key challenge about the case as well – Can a current/former President face charges for a crime allegedly committed while serving as president?

• Other similar legal challenges to Pres. Trump’s candidacy exist in Minnesota and in Michigan – though the courts ruled differently. Liberal or left-leaning groups have funded these efforts.

Important context from The Associated Press: “Trump lost Colorado by 13 percentage points in 2020 and doesn’t need the state to win next year’s presidential election. But the danger for the former president is that more courts and election officials will follow Colorado’s lead and exclude Trump from must-win states.”

Donald Trump banned from Colorado ballot in historic ruling by state’s Supreme Court

by Jenna Lee,

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