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Thursday, February 22, 2024
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“Colorado Supreme Court Rules Donald Trump Ineligible for Primary Ballot”

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In a historic move, the Colorado Supreme Court has ruled that former President Donald Trump is ineligible to appear on the state’s presidential primary ballot in the upcoming election year. This decision marks the first instance where a court has adopted the theory that Trump disqualified himself from seeking a second term by attempting to overturn the 2020 election.

Legal Grounds: Insurrection Clause and Capitol Incident

The court, voting 4-3, asserted that Trump is disqualified from holding the office of president due to his actions, leading to a violation of the election code if listed as a candidate. The legal debate centers on the Constitution’s insurrection clause and whether Trump’s involvement in the storming of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, constitutes incitement to insurrection.

Stay of Ruling: Window for U.S. Supreme Court Appeal: Colorado Supreme Court

While delivering the ruling, the Colorado Supreme Court opted to stay its decision until early January, providing Trump with an opportunity to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. This sets the stage for a potential landmark case that could shape the legal trajectory surrounding Trump’s post-presidential activities.

Legal Reversal: Overturning Previous District Judge Decision

The state court’s decision comes as a reversal of a previous judgment by a Colorado district judge who acknowledged Trump’s role in the Capitol incident but held that the 14th Amendment’s provision on insurrection did not apply to a sitting president.

Swift Reaction: Partisan Criticism and Trump Campaign’s Response

Immediate reactions to the ruling were polarized, with Trump’s campaign spokesperson, Steven Cheung, condemning the decision as a partisan move by the Democrat-appointed Colorado Supreme Court. The campaign vowed to appeal swiftly to the U.S. Supreme Court, challenging the state court’s decision.

National Ramifications: Potential Impact on Other States’ Legal Claims

While the Colorado court is the first to explicitly rule against Trump on this matter, similar legal claims in other states, including Minnesota, Michigan, and New Hampshire, have been rejected in recent weeks. The unfolding legal battles may have broader implications for the eligibility of candidates involved in insurrection across the nation.

Watchdog’s Lawsuit: CREW’s Role in Initiating Legal Action: Colorado Supreme Court

The lawsuit in Colorado was initiated by the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), which hailed the court’s decision as historic and necessary to safeguard the future of democracy. CREW President Noah Bookbinder emphasized the gravity of the questions before the court and the duty to apply the law without bias.

Political Responses: Condemnation from Republicans and Defense from Democrats

Republican leaders swiftly condemned the ruling, with House Speaker Mike Johnson dismissing it as a “thinly veiled partisan attack,” and Sen. Marco Rubio drawing parallels to sanctions on other countries. On the Democratic side, Rep. Jason Crow from Colorado defended the decision, stating that the Constitution protects the right to vote and bars candidates engaged in insurrection.

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