Colorado Supreme Court Disqualifies Trump from Running for President and Removes Him from State Ballot

His campaign labeled the decision as "completely flawed" and unsurprising, highlighting the Democratic-appointed composition of Colorado's court.

The Colorado Supreme Court removed former President Donald Trump from the state's 2024 Republican primary ballot. The decision was based on the court's ruling that Trump had violated the insurrectionist clause of the 14th Amendment for his role in the events on January 6.

The court determined that the former president was disqualified from the White House based on the insurrection clause of the U.S. Constitution, leading to his removal from the ballot. This is the first time in history that Section 3 of the 14th Amendment has been used to disqualify a presidential candidate. The Trump campaign confirmed on Tuesday that he would appeal it to the Supreme Court.

Trump Barred from Republican Primary Ballot

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In a 4-3 decision involving Democratic-appointed justices, Colorado's high court declared that the 77-year-old former president and 2024 aspirant is not eligible for the presidency. The ruling was grounded in the 14th Amendment, ratified after the Civil War, which prohibits individuals who have "engaged in insurrection" from seeking future office.

"A majority of the court holds that Trump is disqualified from holding the office of president under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment," the court wrote in its 4-3 decision.

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The decision is temporarily suspended until January 4 or until the U.S. Supreme Court reaches a verdict on the case.

The decision might not be final, as Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung confirmed on Tuesday evening that the former president intends to appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court.

"We have full confidence that the U.S. Supreme Court will quickly rule in our favor and finally put an end to these unAmerican lawsuits," Cheung said.

His campaign labeled the decision as "completely flawed" and unsurprising, highlighting the Democratic-appointed composition of Colorado's court.

However, the court's majority, in their decision, wrote that their conclusions were not reached lightly.

"We are mindful of the magnitude and weight of the questions now before us," the majority stated. "We are likewise mindful of our solemn duty to apply the law, without fear or favor, and without being swayed by public reaction to the decisions that the law mandates we reach."

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The decision was made following a prior ruling by a lower court judge who dismissed the lawsuit.

The judge in the lower court acknowledged that Trump had incited an insurrection by refusing to accept the results of the 2020 presidential election.

However, the judge noted uncertainty about whether the provision was intended to apply to the commander in chief, concluding that Trump could not be disqualified based on those grounds.

What's In Store for Trump?

One of the three dissenting judges on the state Supreme Court wrote on Tuesday that the complexities of the case were too intricate to be resolved at the state level. This judge argued that the government cannot prohibit someone from holding office without affording them due process.

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"Even if we are convinced that a candidate committed horrible acts in the past — dare I say, engaged in insurrection — there must be procedural due process before we can declare that individual disqualified from holding public office," Chief Justice Brian D. Boatright wrote.

Colorado's lawsuit is just one among many filed nationwide aiming to prevent Trump from being listed on the ballot again.

Section 3, referenced in these legal actions, was originally designed to prevent former Confederates from reentering government positions after the Civil War.

The advocacy group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, which initiated the Colorado case on behalf of six GOP and unaffiliated voters, praised the court's decision.

"Our Constitution clearly states that those who violate their oath by attacking our democracy are barred from serving in government," said the group's president Noah Bookbinder.

Other Republicans vying against Trump soon criticized the ruling. Tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy announced on [X] that he would withdraw from the Colorado GOP primary unless Trump is reinstated and encouraged other presidential contenders to do the same.

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie also voiced his opinion on [X], stating that the legal system should not prevent Trump from seeking the presidency again.

"He should be prevented from being President of the United States by the voters of this country," he said.

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Donald Trump Twitter

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis criticized the outcome of Tuesday's ruling and called on the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the decision.

"The Left invokes 'democracy' to justify its use of power, even if it means abusing judicial power to remove a candidate from the ballot based on spurious legal grounds," he tweeted.

During a rally in Waterloo, Iowa, on Tuesday night—commencing approximately an hour after the Colorado court's decision—Trump adhered to his standard campaign remarks and criticisms of President Biden. Notably, he did not address the ruling on the Colorado ballot during the event.