On Wednesday, former President Donald Trump asked the Supreme Court to overturn a state court ruling in Colorado that said he is ineligible to appear on the state primary ballot because of his actions leading up to the attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
The Colorado Supreme Court based its ruling on Dec. 19th on language in the Constitution’s 14th Amendment that prohibits those who “engaged in insurrection” from running for various federal offices. The Colorado Republican Party had already filed its own appeal in the case; based on language in the state court ruling, Trump now remains on the Colorado ballot until the Supreme Court decides on Trump’s appeal.
Trump’s lawyers said in the filing that if the ruling is allowed to stand it would “mark the first time in the history of the United States that the judiciary has prevented voters from casting ballots for the leading major-party presidential candidate.” They added that the court should “return the right to vote for their candidate of choice to the voters … only Congress has the authority to decide who is eligible to serve as president.” Trump’s legal team also argues that even if the provision could be applied to the former president, he did not engage in insurrection on Jan. 6, citing a “long history of political protests that have turned violent.”
The decision from Colorado’s high court reversed a lower court’s ruling in which a judge said Trump had engaged in insurrection by inciting the riot on Jan. 6, but that presidents are not subject to the insurrection clause of the 14th Amendment because they are not an “officer of the United States.” The state court said its ruling would remain on hold indefinitely, allowing Trump and his allies to file appeals with the Supreme Court.
Editorial credit: Frederic Legrand – COMEO / Shutterstock.com