Colorado Court Declares Trump Ineligible To Hold US President Office Again

On Tuesday, the Colorado Supreme Court rendered a decision to bar former President Donald Trump from participating in the state\’s presidential election next year, citing his involvement in the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol by his supporters. This ruling designates Trump as the inaugural presidential candidate in U.S. history to be declared ineligible for the White House under a rarely invoked provision of the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits officials engaged in \”insurrection or rebellion\” from holding office.

The court concluded that Trump, the leading contender for the Republican nomination in 2024, should be excluded from the ballot due to his role in fomenting violence against the U.S. government. Although this ruling specifically applies to the state\’s March 5 Republican primary, it is expected to have implications for Trump\’s eligibility in the November 5 general election. Analysts, classifying Colorado as safely Democratic, project that President Joe Biden is likely to secure the state regardless of Trump\’s candidacy.

The case, initiated by a group of Colorado voters with backing from the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, argued for Trump\’s disqualification, asserting that he incited the Capitol attack in an unsuccessful bid to hinder the transfer of presidential power to Biden after the 2020 election.

In response, Trump\’s campaign criticized the court\’s decision as \”flawed\” and \”undemocratic,\” expressing intentions to appeal to the United States Supreme Court. The campaign contended that challenges under the 14th Amendment aim to deprive voters of their preferred presidential choice.

This ruling stands as a victory for advocacy groups and anti-Trump voters who have pursued legal challenges under section 3 of the 14th Amendment, enacted after the Civil War. It overturns a prior lower court ruling that found Trump engaged in insurrection but could not be disqualified under the amendment as he was not an \”officer of the United States\” at the time.

Trump\’s legal representation argued that the Capitol riot did not meet the criteria for an insurrection and that Trump\’s statements were protected by the right to free speech. Advocates aim to leverage this case to support a broader disqualification effort, potentially escalating the matter to the U.S. Supreme Court, which currently holds a 6-3 conservative majority, inclusive of three Trump appointees.

The Colorado court specified that the ruling is stayed until January 4, 2024, allowing time for appeals. CREW President Noah Bookbinder applauded the decision, emphasizing its historical significance and the imperative to safeguard the future of democracy in the country.

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