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International News: Donald Trump ruled ineligible to hold office by Colorado Supreme Court

Posted: Wednesday, December 20, 2023. 11:17 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: The New York Times reports that the Colorado Supreme Court has reversed a Denver district judge’s finding last month that Section 3 of the 14th Amendment — which disqualifies people who have engaged in insurrection against the Constitution after having taken an oath to support it from holding office — did not apply to the presidency.

It is thus the first court to find that the disqualification clause of the 14th Amendment applies to former President Donald Trump, in addition to affirming that he engaged in insurrection. Thus, he is ineligible to hold office again and the Colorado secretary of state has been ordered to exclude him from the state’s Republican Party primary ballot.

By a majority of 4-3, the original judgment’s conclusions were also upheld: Trump’s actions before and on January 6, 2021, constituted engaging in insurrection, and courts had the authority to enforce Section 3 against a person Congress had not specifically designated.

“We do not reach these conclusions lightly,” the majority wrote. “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.”

Trump will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, his campaign said in a statement.

Tuesday’s ruling applies only to Colorado, but if the Supreme Court were to affirm it, he could be disqualified more broadly. The Colorado Supreme Court stayed its ruling until January 4, 2024, to allow Trump to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. If he does, the ruling could be stayed for longer while proceedings unfold.

Similar lawsuits in Minnesota and New Hampshire were dismissed on procedural grounds. A judge in Michigan ruled last month that the issue was political and not for him to decide, and an appeals court affirmed the decision not to disqualify him. The plaintiffs there have appealed to the Michigan Supreme Court.

Tuesday’s ruling “is not only historic and justified but is necessary to protect the future of democracy in our country,” Noah Bookbinder, the president of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, said in a statement. His organization represented the voters seeking to disqualify Trump.

Trump’s campaign denounced the ruling, a spokesman accusing the court of supporting election interference and “eliminating the rights of Colorado voters to vote for the candidate of their choice,” adding, “We have full confidence that the U.S. Supreme Court will quickly rule in our favor and finally put an end to these un-American lawsuits.”

 

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