Trump ballot challenge decided by Colorado Supreme Court

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Donald Trump, 2016 Republican presidential nominee, smiles during a campaign event in Pueblo, CO, U.S., on Monday, Oct. 3, 2016.

Matthew Staver | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The Colorado Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that former President Donald Trump cannot appear on the state’s ballots for the 2024 election due to his incitement of the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot, reversing a lower court ruling.

But the state Supreme Court stayed its ruling from taking effect until Jan. 4, “subject to further appellate proceedings.”

The ruling is the first time a state court has agreed that Trump, who is the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, should be barred from ballots in a state because of a U.S. constitutional provision barring people who have engaged in “insurrection” from federal office.

Courts in Minnesota and Michigan have rejected similar suits challenging Trump’s placement on the presidential ballot, but the issue is continuing to be litigated in a number of states.

“A majority of the court holds that President Trump is disqualified from holding the office of President under Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution,” the Colorado high court said in its ruling.

“Because he is disqualified, it would be a wrongful act under the Election Code for the Colorado Secretary of State to list him as a candidate on the presidential primary ballot,” the ruling said.

A group of six Colorado voters in September sued to block Trump from state ballots in 2024 because of a claim he was barred due to the constitutional provision.

Section 3 says that “no person” can serve as an officer of the United States who, having previously taken an oath of federal office, “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” against the U.S.

The suit claimed that Trump’s incitement of the riot at the U.S. Capitol by a mob of his supporters was an act of insurrection.

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The riot disrupted for hours the confirmation of President Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election. Trump had pressured his vice president, Mike Pence, to refuse to accept the Electoral College results in Biden’s favor at that proceeding.

In November, Denver District Court Judge Sarah Wallace ruled that Trump could appear on the ballot, even though she believed he had “engaged in insurrection” by inciting the riot.

Wallace said Trump’s name should be on the ballot because the office of president is not subject to Section 3.

Wallace’s ruling was appealed by the plaintiffs, and also by Trump, who objected to her finding that he had engaged in insurrection.

The Colorado Supreme Court heard arguments in the case on Dec. 6.

This is breaking news. Check back for updates.


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