Colorado judge rejects bid to keep Trump off 2024 ballot

A Colorado judge on Friday dismissed a bid to keep former President Donald Trump off the state’s 2024 ballot.

Colorado District Court Judge Sarah B. Wallace ordered the Colorado Secretary of State to place Trump on next year’s state primary ballot in the Trump ballot eligibility case.

The ruling is another victory for Trump after courts in Minnesota and Michigan this month rejected similar legal efforts to disqualify him from the presidency in those states.

Former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally on October 23, 2023 in Derry, NH.The Washington Post via Jebin Botsford/Getty Images file

A group of Colorado voters filed a legal challenge to Trump’s candidacy in September, arguing that his efforts to change the results of the 2020 election and the January 6, 2021 capitol riots violated Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. making him ineligible for office.

In his ruling, Wallace found that Trump engaged in sedition by inciting a riot on January 6, 2021, but that the president was not subject to Article 3 because he was not an “officer of the United States.”

He denied that Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment applied to Trump, saying the clause in question expressly lists all federal elected positions, but does not include the presidency.

“While the Court acknowledges that there are persuasive arguments on both sides, because the president is not on the list of positions to which the amendment applies, Article Three specifies that the impeachment oath ‘supports’ the Constitution, whereas the president’s oath is to ‘preserve, protect, and defend’ the Constitution,” Wallace wrote.

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He added, “It appears to the Court that for no reason the drafters of Article Three did not intend to include only one who had taken the oath of office of the President.”

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) and several law firms filed suit on behalf of voters.

A lawyer for the group of voters who filed the legal challenge said they would appeal.

“After a careful and thorough review of the evidence, the court finds that Donald Trump engaged in unconstitutional rebellion,” attorney Sean Grimsley said in a statement. On appeal, whether section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment applies to rebel presidents. We believe it will.”

CREW President Noah Bookbinder said in a statement The group intends to appeal to the Colorado Supreme Court “soon,” and when they filed the suit, they said, “We knew it wouldn’t end up at the district court level.”

Trump’s attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday night.

It accused Trump of “engaging in sedition or sedition” after taking an oath to support and defend the Constitution and asked the court to declare Trump constitutionally ineligible to appear on any Colorado ballot for state or federal office, barring the secretary of state. Jena Griswold will not allow her name to appear on any future primary or general election ballots in the state.

Wallace began hearing arguments in the case last month, with closing arguments scheduled for Wednesday’s hearing.

“Through his actions and his actions, Donald Trump has once again disqualified himself from office,” Grimsley said in closing arguments on behalf of the petitioners.

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The former president faces several attempts in other states to disenfranchise him in 2024 on similar grounds. The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled last week that state law does not prohibit a major political party from placing an ineligible candidate on the presidential primary ballot, and a Michigan judge on Tuesday rejected a similar effort. No power to intervene.

In his closing argument, Trump attorney Scott Kessler highlighted those cases, asserting that “there is a consensus here within the judiciary across the United States.”

Top election officials in Arizona, New Hampshire and elsewhere are also weighing concerns similar to those raised in Colorado as they prepare state ballots for next year’s Republican presidential primary, where Trump is leading among Republican candidates.

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