The Colorado Supreme Court recently ruled that former President Donald Trump cannot feature on the state’s ballot for the upcoming presidential election.
This decision, stemming from his involvement in the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol attack, leverages a rarely utilized constitutional provision that bars individuals engaged in “insurrection or rebellion” from holding office.
While this ruling specifically affects Colorado’s Republican primary in March, it might influence Trump’s status for the general election in November. Despite Colorado typically leaning Democratic, the impact of Trump’s eligibility remains uncertain.
Trump intends to challenge this decision in the U.S. Supreme Court, with the Colorado court delaying the ruling’s effect until at least Jan. 4, 2024, to allow for the appeal process.
The stage is now set for the U.S. Supreme Court, where a conservative majority, including three of Trump’s appointees, will evaluate whether he qualifies for another presidential term.
This lawsuit serves as a test case to disqualify Trump from state ballots under the 14th Amendment’s section 3, originally enacted post-Civil War to prevent Confederacy supporters from holding office.
Acknowledging the gravity of their decision, the Colorado court highlighted the unprecedented nature of this situation. Trump’s campaign decried the ruling as “undemocratic” and plans a swift appeal.
This decision overturns a lower court’s ruling that acknowledged Trump’s involvement in inciting violence but didn’t disqualify him as he wasn’t deemed an “officer of the United States.”
Advocacy groups hailed this ruling as a victory, emphasizing the need to safeguard democracy, while other lawsuits in different states seeking Trump’s disqualification from primary ballots have been rejected.
This Colorado case holds significance as it might bolster the wider disqualification efforts and potentially elevate the issue to the U.S. Supreme Court for a definitive resolution.