Colorado Supreme Court bans Trump from 2024 election ballot       

Former President Donald Trump speaks at the Monument Leaders Rally hosted by the South Dakota Republican Party on September 08, 2023, in Rapid City, South Dakota. South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem endorsed Trump during the event.
Former President Donald Trump speaks at the Monument Leaders Rally hosted by the South Dakota Republican Party on September 08, 2023, in Rapid City, South Dakota. South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem endorsed Trump during the event. | Scott Olson/Getty Images

The Colorado Supreme Court has ruled that former President Donald Trump cannot be placed on the ballot for the 2024 election, citing his connection to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot in 2021.

In a per curiam opinion released Tuesday, Colorado's highest court ruled in Norma Anderson et al v. Jena Griswold et al that Trump is ineligible to be on the state ballot next year, partially overturning a lower court decision.

Specifically, the high court cited Section 3 of the 14th Amendment of the U.S.  Constitution, which prohibits people from holding office who "have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof."

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"President Trump is disqualified from holding the office of President under Section Three; because he is disqualified, it would be a wrongful act under the Election Code for the Secretary to list him as a candidate on the presidential primary ballot," read the per curiam decision.

"We do not reach these conclusions lightly. We are mindful of the magnitude and weight of the questions now before us. 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."

The state supreme court also said that it is "cognizant that we travel in uncharted territory, and that this case presents several issues of first impression." The court is staying its ruling until Jan. 4 — the day before the deadline for Colorado to certify its presidential primary ballot — pending potential review from the U.S. Supreme Court.

Colorado Chief Justice Brian Boatwright authored a dissent to the per curiam opinion, arguing that the high court went beyond its scope when deciding whether Trump had engaged in insurrection.

"Unlike qualifications such as age and place of birth, an application of Section Three requires courts to define complex terms, determine legislative intent from over 150 years ago, and make factual findings foreign to our election code," wrote Boatwright.

"Dismissal is particularly appropriate here because the Electors brought their challenge without a determination from a proceeding (e.g., a prosecution for an insurrection-related offense) with more rigorous procedures to ensure adequate due process."

Trump campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung called the litigation "a Soros-funded, left-wing group's scheme to interfere in an election on behalf of Crooked Joe Biden."

"Democrat Party leaders are in a state of paranoia over the growing, dominant lead President Trump has amassed in the polls. They have lost faith in the failed Biden presidency and are now doing everything they can to stop the American voters from throwing them out of office next November," stated Cheung in a statement.

"The Colorado Supreme Court issued a completely flawed decision tonight and we will swiftly file an appeal to the United States Supreme Court and a concurrent request for a stay of this deeply undemocratic decision."

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, which filed the lawsuit on behalf of six Colorado voters earlier this year, celebrated the ruling.

"The court's decision today affirms what our clients alleged in this lawsuit: that Donald Trump is an insurrectionist who disqualified himself from office under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment based on his role in the January 6th attack on the Capitol, and that Secretary Griswold must keep him off of Colorado's primary ballot. It is not only historic and justified, but is necessary to protect the future of democracy in our country," said CREW President Noah Bookbinder in a statement

"Our Constitution clearly states that those who violate their oath by attacking our democracy are barred from serving in government. It has been an honor to represent the petitioners, and we look forward to ensuring that this vitally important ruling stands."

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