Home Headlines Colorado Supreme Court Ruling Knocks Trump Off the Ballot

Colorado Supreme Court Ruling Knocks Trump Off the Ballot

by Yucatan Times
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The Colorado voters who sought to disqualify Donald Trump from the state’s 2024 Republican primary ballot ran the table on eight distinct legal issues on Tuesday. To ultimately keep him off the ballot, though, they almost certainly will have to do so again — in the U.S. Supreme Court.

In a 4-3 decision that set off a political and legal earthquake, the Colorado Supreme Court said that Trump had engaged in insurrection and therefore was barred by the 14th Amendment from holding federal office.

“This is a major and extraordinary holding from a state supreme court,” Derek Muller, a law professor at the University of Notre Dame, wrote on the Election Law Blog. “Never in history has a presidential candidate been excluded from the ballot under Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment. United States Supreme Court review seems inevitable, and it exerts major pressure on the court.”

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The majority on Tuesday said every key legal issue came out against Trump.

“The sum of these parts is this: President Trump is disqualified from holding the office of president,” the majority said in an unsigned opinion, saying that his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results amounted to engaging in an insurrection and that Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, ratified after the Civil War, bars insurrectionists from federal office, including the presidency.

The majority added: “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.”

But the court gave Trump a provisional escape route. It put its ruling on hold through Jan. 4, and if he seeks review in the U.S. Supreme Court, as he said he would, the state court said his name would remain on the primary ballot.

It could take some time for the justices to act, and the Colorado Republican primary, scheduled for March, could proceed unaffected. The justices may have to grapple with the case’s many interlocking legal issues, which are novel, complex, and extraordinarily consequential. Indeed, courts in other states have come to differing conclusions on some of the questions.

The justices may also be reluctant to withdraw from the voters the decision of how to assess Trump’s conduct after the 2020 election.


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