Colorado Republicans Step Up For Trump

Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

( – On Wednesday, the Colorado Republican Party challenged a ruling by the state’s supreme court, which deemed former President Donald Trump ineligible for the presidency. This move could potentially lead to a significant legal battle in the U.S. Supreme Court regarding the interpretation of a 155-year-old constitutional clause. This clause, found in Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, bars individuals who have “engaged in insurrection” from holding office. This amendment was introduced post-Civil War to prevent ex-Confederates from regaining government positions.

The immediate consequence of this appeal is the extension of a stay on Colorado’s supreme court ruling, which was initially paused until January 4. This date is critical as it is just before the deadline for submitting primary ballots for printing. Donald Trump has also expressed his intention to appeal this decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The U.S. Supreme Court has yet to deliberate on this particular section of the 14th Amendment. The Colorado court’s decision was based on Trump’s involvement in the events of January 6, 2021, when the U.S. Capitol was attacked in an attempt to obstruct the certification of President Joe Biden’s election victory. This ruling marks the first instance where this constitutional provision has been applied to a presidential candidate.

The Colorado Republican Party’s attorneys have argued that this decision could fundamentally alter American democracy by potentially allowing any voter to challenge the eligibility of political candidates based on accusations of insurrection. They fear this could distort the 2024 presidential election and involve courts in ongoing political disputes.

Although Trump’s absence from the Colorado ballot might not significantly impact his campaign, as he lost the state by a considerable margin in 2020, it raises the possibility of similar actions in other critical states.

Sean Grimsley, representing the plaintiffs in the Colorado case, anticipates that the U.S. Supreme Court will expedite its review due to the upcoming primary elections. Over a dozen states, including Colorado, are set to have their primaries on Super Tuesday, March 5.

So far, no other court has agreed with the numerous lawsuits aiming to disqualify Trump under Section 3, and no election official has independently removed him from the ballot without a court directive.

The Colorado lawsuit, filed by a well-resourced liberal group from Washington D.C., is seen as having a strong chance of success, given that all seven justices of the Colorado high court were appointed by Democrats. However, the constitutional questions raised by this case do not align strictly along partisan lines, as some conservative legal experts advocate for Trump’s disqualification based on the clear language of the Constitution.

The plaintiffs in the Colorado case include Republicans and unaffiliated voters. Trump has criticized these legal challenges as “election interference.” His comments came as the Michigan Supreme Court allowed him to remain on the ballot for at least the primary in that state. He denounced the Colorado case on Sean Hannity’s radio show, asserting it brought national embarrassment.

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