The Colorado Supreme Court has made a significant decision by removing former President Donald Trump from the state’s 2024 ballot. This ruling is based on the 14th Amendment’s “insurrectionist ban,” which deems him ineligible to run for president. The verdict was reached with a 4-3 majority.
However, the decision will not be immediately enforced as it will be put on hold until January 4th, pending an appeal. It is hoped that the US Supreme Court will review the case and provide a final decision by that time, as reported by CNN. Although this ruling only applies to Colorado, it will undoubtedly have an impact on the 2024 presidential race. Colorado’s election officials have emphasized the need for a resolution by January 5th, which is the statutory deadline for determining the Republican primary contenders.
The 14th Amendment, ratified after the Civil War, prohibits individuals who have engaged in insurrection from holding public office if they have pledged allegiance to the Constitution. Despite its vague language and lack of specific reference to the presidency, this provision has been applied only twice since 1919. It is worth noting that all seven justices of the Colorado Supreme Court were appointed by Democratic governors. Six of them have won statewide retention elections to remain on the bench, while the seventh has not yet faced a vote since her appointment in 2021.
Donald Trump has strongly criticized the litigation surrounding the 14th Amendment, considering it an abuse of the judicial process. He denies any wrongdoing related to the events of January 6th and has pleaded not guilty to federal and state charges concerning his efforts to overturn the 2020 election.
During his campaign for the Republican nomination in 2024, Trump has consistently denounced these lawsuits, claiming that they are an attempt to use the courts to prevent him from running again. Prior to this unprecedented ruling, numerous parties, including more than a dozen Republican-controlled states’ attorneys general, have filed briefs challenging Trump’s constitutional eligibility to appear on Colorado’s 2024 ballot.
In conclusion, the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision to remove Donald Trump from the state’s 2024 ballot based on the 14th Amendment’s “insurrectionist ban” will have significant implications for the upcoming presidential race. The appeal process and potential involvement of the US Supreme Court will determine the final outcome.
“The 14th Amendment entrusts Insurrection Clause questions to Congress, not state officials or state courts,” the Nov. 29 brief states. “Allowing each state and its courts to determine eligibility using malleable standards would create an unworkable patchwork of eligibility requirements for the president.”
On X, formerly known as Twitter, Rokita expressed his concerns about the challenges to Trump’s eligibility, referring to them as an “attack on our republic.”
Apart from Trump’s petition, fourteen state Republican parties, led by Kansas’s GOP, have filed a brief supporting his eligibility to vote.
These state parties, in alignment with the Colorado Republican Party, which has intervened in the trial alongside Trump, argue that Secretary of State Jena Griswold lacks the authority to unilaterally prevent Trump from running. They assert that her role is merely “ministerial” in certifying the candidates selected by the parties for the ballot.
Republican state secretaries from Missouri, Ohio, and Wyoming have also submitted briefs asserting that Trump has been wrongly accused of insurgency.
“This is a classic case of judicial overreach, and the (lower court judge’s) ruling in this case has no basis in law,” Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose said in a statement. “The district court’s order relies on flimsy and circumstantial evidence to reach a flawed conclusion with far-reaching implications both for the president’s legal defense and for the broader democratic process of free and fair elections.”
A former Republican secretary of state told the court, “This country and its institutions are at a crossroads.”
“(Trump) allowed a lust for power to supersede his own Oath of Office and over two centuries of American political precedent. Mr. Trump has sought at every turn to inject chaos into our country’s electoral system in the upcoming 2024 presidential election,” the brief said. “He should be given no opportunity to do so in the state of Colorado.”