Colorado Supreme Court to hear Trump 14th Amendment appeal

Colorado Supreme Court to hear Trump 14th Amendment appeal

The Colorado Supreme Court agreed late Tuesday to take up a case weighing whether to bar former President Trump from the 2024 ballot under the 14th Amendment.

A lower court last week found that the former president engaged in insurrection by inciting the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot but determined the constitutional prohibition on holding office after engaging in “insurrection or rebellion” did not apply to the presidency.

Trump and the group of citizens seeking to remove him from the ballot have both appealed the decision.

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Trump in his appeal to the Colorado Supreme Court said he agreed with the latter part of the ruling keeping him on the state’s ballot but is appealing on other issues.

“But the district court nonetheless made legal and factual findings wholly unsupported in the law, and these errors demand review – especially if the Petitioners in this matter also seek review of the sole dispositive issue upon which President Trump prevailed,” Trump’s attorneys wrote.

Left-leaning group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), which filed the lawsuit on behalf of four Republicans and two independent Colorado voters, asked the state’s top court to rule that the amendment does indeed apply to the presidency.

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The 14th Amendment prohibits someone from holding “any office … under the United States” if they engaged in insurrection after taking an oath as “an officer of the United States” to “support” the Constitution.

Colorado District Judge Sarah Wallace said in her ruling that that language means the 14th Amendment can’t be used to prevent Trump from appearing on the ballot, regardless of whether the then-president’s actions on Jan. 6 cleared the threshold.

Wallace ruled the presidency was not an “office … under the United States” because the 14th Amendment explicitly lists all federal elected positions, except for the presidency and vice presidency. Wallace further ruled Trump was not an “officer of the United States” in the first place, referencing other constitutional provisions that distinguish the presidency from federal officers.

“Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment, passed after the Civil War, excludes from federal or state office those who engaged in insurrection against the Constitution after previously taking an oath to support it,” CREW argued in its appeal brief.

The case is one of multiple 14th Amendment lawsuits against Trump proceeding across the country. A liberal activist group that filed a lawsuit in Michigan appealed its case to the state’s top court last week. Minnesota’s top court threw out another 14th Amendment lawsuit earlier this month.

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