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Colorado Supreme Court Kicks Donald Trump Off 2024 Presidential Ballot, Citing ‘Insurrection’

Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling has disqualified Trump from the Colorado Republican presidential primary ballot.

Colorado Supreme Court declared Trump ineligible to hold office
Donald Trump in court. Image: Shutterstock/Potashev Aleksandr

Colorado’s Supreme Court has declared that Trump is ineligible to hold office again under the U.S. Constitution’s insurrection clause. This also kicks him off the Colorado Republican presidential primary ballot.

The case was brought to the court by a group of Colorado voters and the group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (Crew). Attorney Sean Grimsley represented them and said that Trump “betrayed his oath to the Constitution by engaging in insurrection against it, and by doing so he made himself ineligible for public office.” The group of voters, as well as other advocates, have hopes of using this case to provoke wider disqualification efforts nationwide.

The 4-3 court decision marks the first time in history that Section 3 of the 14th Amendment – which prohibits insurrectionists from holding office – has been used to disqualify a presidential candidate from the ballot. The 213-page opinion from the Colorado Supreme Court acknowledged the significance of the decision and emphasized that these conclusions were not reached lightly.

The Colorado Supreme Court stated in their ruling that Trump’s actions on and leading up to January 6th, 2021, “constituted overt, voluntary and direct participation” in an insurrection. They went on to disagree with the Colorado lower court by explaining that if Section 3 of the 14th Amendment applies to state and federal offices across the land, there is no reason for it not to apply to the presidency as well.

The Crew group’s president, Noah Bookbinder, welcomed the court’s decision and said that it was “historic and justified” and “necessary to protect the future of democracy in our country.” However, Trump’s campaign has called the ruling “completely flawed” and criticized the Democrat-appointed justices.

The GOP’s response & arguments against the court’s decision

The court ruling was certainly not unanimous, with 3 of the judges dissenting. For example, Justice Carlos Samour said that even if Trump was most definitely involved in the insurrection, there still needs to be due process of law before reaching the court decision. Samour wrote, “What took place here doesn’t resemble anything I’ve seen in a courtroom.” He went on to write that due process at the court level would include the opportunity for a fair trial, including Trump’s right to subpoena documents and compel witnesses to testify.

In addition, several GOP members called the court ruling a partisan attack on democracy. The Colorado Republican Party said it would pull out of the state’s primary if the ruling was allowed to stand. One of Trump’s rival candidates, Vivek Ramaswamy, tweeted, “I pledge to withdraw from the Colorado GOP primary unless Trump is also allowed to be on the state’s ballot.”

He continued on to urge other fellow candidates, including Nikki Haley, Ron DeSantis, and Chris Christie, to do the same. Ramaswamy’s tweet explained his viewpoint on the legal components of the ruling and the history of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, claiming that the court ruling absurdly equated Trump’s speech with “rebellion against the United States.”

Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, in agreement with several other members of the GOP, called the decision “election interference” and stated, “The Republican Nominee will be decided by Republican voters, not a partisan state court.”

Gen Z’s stance on likely Biden-Trump rematch in 2024

So, where does Gen Z currently stand in the 2024 elections? By current statistics, where Joe Biden and Donald Trump are the leading nominees, Biden still leads among Americans aged 18-29 by about 15 percentage points.

However, Gen Z and Millenial voter turnout rate is predicted to be lower in 2024 as young voters seem unenthusiastic about a Biden-Trump rematch. Polls show that many young people don’t trust either candidate to be the nominee for their party.

It is worth noting that when young voters are given the option to vote for someone other than Biden or Trump, Biden’s lead over Trump dramatically declines to a mere 4 percentage points. This displays that potential independent candidates significantly pull young voters away from voting for Biden.

Regarding issues like the economy, 70% of young voters say that the U.S. economy is doing poorly overall, and Trump is favored by 15 percentage points over Biden among young voters when asked who they trust to handle the current state of the U.S. economy.

Amidst possible low young voter turnout rate, issues like abortion are predicted to be a determining factor in getting young people to the polls. 45% of young voters say that they would “definitely” vote if the legality of abortion becomes a topic of discussion in their state.

Can Trump still run for president after the ruling?

It is evident that with regard to Colorado’s Supreme Court ruling, some groups welcome the ruling and say it’s necessary to protect democracy, while others say it’s a violation of the constitution and an attack on democracy.

But non-partisan U.S. election forecasters say that Colorado is “safely democratic” and likely to be dominated by Biden in 2024. Therefore, it is unlikely that Trump’s name being absent from the Colorado ballot will have a significant impact on election results. The current ruling only applies to Colorado with a stay until January 4, 2024, for possible appeals. Other such cases have been dismissed by different states, but regardless, Trump’s campaign spokesman, Steven Cheung, has said that the campaign will swiftly escalate the case to the U.S. Supreme Court where there is a 6-3 conservative majority.

Trump is currently facing 4 criminal charges, with a total felony count of 91. If courts in other states follow such a pattern of removing Trump from the ballot based on claims that he incited insurrection, that could make Trump’s 2024 bid difficult. This is especially true in more competitive states where Democrats aren’t necessarily the dominant pick.

Other state courts could use the Colorado Supreme Court ruling as justification for their own decisions. For now, the country is closely watching to see how the case unfolds.

Written By

Hi there! I'm Suhani Singh, a high school student from Redmond, WA. I'm most interested in writing about news and lifestyle. Outside of writing and journalism, I enjoy learning neurobiology and advocating against the commercial tobacco industry.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Forrest

    December 27, 2023 at 9:46 am

    these judges are dead wrong. Trump has never been convicted of insurrection. He was impeached by the legislative branch. these judges have convicted him without a trial. He has been denied due process.

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