Colorado Supreme Court rules Trump disqualified from ballots for president across state

This is the first time—under the 14th Amendment’s disqualification clause—that a presidential candidate was disqualified or barred from a ballot.

Image Credit: Kena Betancur/Getty Images

The Colorado Supreme Court disqualified Donald Trump from running for president and he is barred from appearing on the ballots across the state under the 14th Amendment. In a case brought on behalf of six Republican and unaffiliated Colorado voters by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and the firms Tierney Lawrence Stiles LLC, KBN Law, LLC and Olson Grimsley Kawanabe Hinchcliff & Murray LLC, the Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling is the first time a presidential candidate was disqualified.

Under the 14th Amendment’s disqualification clause, the Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling reversed a ruling by a district court in November that said Trump was eligible to be on Colorado ballots for president in the 2024 election.

“A majority of the court holds that President Trump is disqualified from holding the office of President under Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution,” the ruling said. “Because he is disqualified, it would be a wrongful act under the Election Code for the Colorado Secretary of State to list him as a candidate on the presidential primary ballot.”

Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which is known as the Disqualification Clause, disqualifies any person from holding federal or state office who took an “oath…to support the Constitution of the United States” and “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof,” a press release reported.

The Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling said a president is an “officer” under the United States Constitution as stated in the Disqualification Clause and affirmed that Trump “engaged in insurrection and that his actions on and leading up to January 6, 2021 are not protected by the First Amendment,” a press release reported. The ruling also denies Trump’s appeal on eleven issues.

“My fellow plaintiffs and I brought this case to continue to protect the right to free and fair elections enshrined in our Constitution and to ensure Colorado Republican primary voters are only voting for eligible candidates. Today’s win does just that,” Norma Anderson, petitioner and former Republican majority leader of the Colorado House and Senate, said.

The Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling will stay in effect until January 4, 2023, “subject to any further appellate proceedings.”


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