The Colorado Supreme Court has agreed to hear appeals from a judge’s verdict against a petition to keep former President Donald Trump off the state ballot in 2024 on Tuesday.
Both Trump and Colorado voters filed appeals, claiming he is unable to serve in office. Trump disputed the state judge’s judgment that he “engaged in insurrection,” while voters disagreed with the ruling that the constitutional provision about ineligibility does not apply to the president.
State Judge Sarah B. Wallace last week had dismissed a legal challenge brought by a group of Colorado voters represented in Washington by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, who argued Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election results and his behavior surrounding the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot violated Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, rendering him ineligible for office.
Wallace concluded Trump “engaged in insurrection” in her opinion on Friday, but stated the Constitution’s bar on insurrectionists holding office did not apply to Trump since the language in question specifically includes all federal elected offices except the presidency.
Sean Grimsley, an attorney representing the voters who brought the legal challenge, applauded the Supreme Court’s decision to hear the case.
“We look forward to presenting arguments on the one legal question at issue — that an insurrectionist former president can and must be disqualified under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment,” Grimsley said in a statement.
According to Steven Cheung, a Trump campaign spokesperson, the judge went too far.
“The district judge rightly rejected the far-left’s efforts to keep President Trump off the ballot, but she then went out of her way to wrongly criticize the President. We’ve asked the Colorado Supreme Court to strike her wrong-headed speculation, because it goes far beyond her jurisdiction,” Cheung said in statement.
The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on December 6 in Denver, less than a month before Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold must certify votes for the state’s March 5 primary.
Similar legal efforts to ban Trump from running for president in Minnesota and Michigan have recently been denied by those states’ courts. Michigan petitioners have filed an appeal with the state Supreme Court.
The Colorado district judge ruled that Donald Trump engaged in insurrection on January 6th, but did not remove him from the ballot under the 14th Amendment. This is the first time a presidential candidate has been found guilty of “insurrection,” and it was discovered following a full evidentiary process.
However, Trump supporters point out there is no evidence that Donald Trump had authorized unarmed extremists to disrupt the Electoral College objections on January 6.
The former president gave a commonplace political speech, in which he urged protesters to “peacefully and patriotically” make their voices heard. In the early afternoon after the rioting began, Donald Trump called for protesters to “go home,” and then issued a statement after the election certification on January 7 that he would step down.
Donald Trump, therefore, did not illegally challenge the 2020 election, they argue. He filed legal challenges in court and exercised his right to dispute the election results, just like Democratic Party officials had done in the 2000, 2004, and 2016 elections.
Trump supporters thus argue that the claim that the former president engaged in an “insurrection” is a Big Lie being used in an effort to deprive tens of millions of Americans of their right to vote for him in the 2024 election.