In a groundbreaking decision, the Colorado Supreme Court bars trump from 2024 ballot under 14th amendment.
This marks the first instance in history where this constitutional provision has been employed to disqualify a presidential candidate, paving the way for a potential legal clash at the highest levels of the judiciary.
The 4-3 decision rests on Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which disqualifies individuals who have "engaged in insurrection or rebellion" against the United States from holding public office.
Trump's alleged role in inciting the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol became the focal point of the court's decision.
The Colorado Supreme Court overturned a district court judge's ruling that, while acknowledging Trump's involvement in the insurrection, questioned whether the provision applied to presidential candidates.
The 4-3 decision explicitly states that Trump is disqualified from the presidency under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment.
A majority of the court holds that Trump is disqualified from holding the office of president under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment.
Trump's attorneys have vowed to appeal the decision promptly to the U.S. Supreme Court. This move sets the stage for a high-stakes legal battle that will likely shape the interpretation of Section 3 and its application to presidential candidates.
The Colorado Supreme Court has stayed its ruling until January 4, allowing Trump's legal team time to appeal.
However, state officials emphasize that the matter must be resolved by January 5, the deadline for printing presidential primary ballots in the state.
Donald Trump speaking while standing on dice with American flag in background.
While Trump lost Colorado by a significant margin in 2020 and can still contest the 2024 presidential election without the state, the ruling carries broader implications.
The fear for the former president is that more states might follow Colorado's lead, potentially excluding him from critical battlegrounds.
Reacting to the ruling, Trump's legal spokeswoman, Alina Habba, denounced it as an attack on democracy, expressing confidence in the U.S. Supreme Court's intervention.
Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel labeled the decision as "Election interference," signaling the GOP's intent to support Trump's legal battle.
This ruling adds to a series of legal challenges Trump faces nationwide, with liberal groups utilizing constitutional provisions to block his potential return to the White House. Section 3 of the 14th Amendment has become a focal point in the larger effort to disqualify Trump from seeking public office.
President Trump asks us to hold that Section 3 disqualifies every oathbreaking insurrectionist except the most powerful one and that it bars oath-breakers from virtually every office, both state and federal, except the highest one in the land. Both results are inconsistent with the plain language and history of Section 3.
The Colorado Supreme Court's Hood, Melissa Hart, Monica Márquez, and Richard L. Gabriel all upheld the petitioners.
The chief justice, Brian D. Boatright, disagreed, saying that a state hearing couldn't handle the complexity of the constitutional problems. Carlos Samour and Maria E. Berkenkotter, two justices, joined in the dissension.
Our government cannot deprive someone of the right to hold public office without due process of law. 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.- Carlos Samour
As the legal landscape surrounding Trump's candidacy evolves, the Colorado Supreme Court's historic decision sets the stage for a monumental constitutional confrontation.
With the nation's highest court likely to be the ultimate arbiter, the coming weeks promise intense legal scrutiny and political ramifications, impacting the trajectory of Trump's political future.