Colorado Supreme Court Blocks Trump’s Candidacy in 2024 Primary Election

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In a significant and unexpected decision, Colorado’s Supreme Court has issued a ruling prohibiting former President Donald Trump’s candidacy in the state’s primary election scheduled for next year. This unprecedented ruling is the result of a lawsuit centered around a less-known provision in the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Despite similar challenges in other states proving unsuccessful, the Colorado Supreme Court has invoked this constitutional provision to disqualify Trump from running for office again. The ruling states that Trump’s candidacy is prohibited under Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment due to his alleged involvement in inciting the January 6th insurrection. Consequently, the Colorado Secretary of State has been instructed not to include Trump’s name on the 2024 presidential primary ballot, nor count any write-in votes for him.

However, the court has put its decision on hold until January 4th, allowing time for potential appeals. If the case proceeds to the U.S. Supreme Court before that date, the pause will remain in effect until the Supreme Court takes action. In response, Trump’s campaign spokesperson, Steven Cheung, strongly criticized the ruling, accusing the Colorado Supreme Court of partisan bias and election interference. Cheung expressed confidence that the U.S. Supreme Court would overturn the decision.

This ruling has stirred controversy and legal debates, with Trump’s personal lawyer, Alina Habba, asserting that it challenges the very foundations of American democracy and would not stand. Trump himself has characterized efforts to exclude him from the ballot as “nonsense” and “election interference.” Despite this legal setback, he made no mention of the Colorado ruling during a campaign speech in Iowa. In a narrow 4-3 decision, the Colorado judges defended their ruling by emphasizing the importance of upholding the law and preserving the integrity of democracy.

The lawsuit was brought forward by six Colorado voters represented by the government watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and two law firms. The group’s president, Noah Bookbinder, hailed the decision as historic and justified, asserting that it is essential to protect the future of democracy. The ruling overturns a lower court’s decision that did not apply Section Three of the 14th Amendment to the presidency, arguing that presidents are not considered officers of the United States.

The majority of the Colorado Supreme Court concurred with the lower court’s conclusion that Trump incited the January 6th insurrection but rejected the argument that the president is not an officer of the United States. This decision was based on their independent review of the evidence, which led them to conclude that Trump encouraged violence and lawlessness in an attempt to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power.

However, Chief Justice Brian Boatright dissented, highlighting the absence of a criminal conviction against the former president and suggesting that disqualifying a candidate under Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment may not be a valid cause of action under Colorado’s election code without such a conviction.

It’s worth noting that similar efforts to bar Trump from election ballots in other states, including Arizona, Michigan, and Minnesota, have been unsuccessful, with some cases still under appeal. RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel has announced the Republican Party’s intention to appeal the Colorado ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court, emphasizing that the party believes the Republican nominee should be determined by Republican voters rather than a partisan state court. The Colorado Republican Party has also begun fundraising efforts in response to the ruling, seeking support to challenge what they see as election interference.

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