In a historic move, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that Donald Trump cannot appear on the state’s 2024 Republican presidential primary ballot. The stunning 4-3 decision, based on the 14th Amendment’s “insurrection clause”, instantly sets the stage for a potentially landmark legal battle at the U.S. Supreme Court and could have major implications for Trump’s 2024 campaign and beyond.
The court found that Trump’s actions on Jan. 6th constituted an “insurrection” and therefore violate the 14th Amendment, barring him from holding federal office, including president. The decision hinges on a rarely used clause in the 14th Amendment, which disqualifies individuals who engaged in insurrection against the U.S. from holding office.
The ruling reverberates nationwide, as similar lawsuits seeking to block Trump from other state ballots are pending. Trump’s campaign vowed to appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, setting up a likely high-stakes legal fight.
Three dissenting justices argued that the state election code doesn’t authorize courts to decide issues like an insurrection claim and raised concerns about due process given the swift timeline. The ruling sends shockwaves through the Republican Party, and some Colorado party officials threatened to boycott the primary if Trump remains disqualified.
The lawsuit was filed by a non-profit group, arguing Trump’s role in the Jan. 6th attack disqualified him from office. A lower court judge initially ruled in Trump’s favor, but the Supreme Court overturned that decision. Trump’s campaign and some legal experts maintain the 14th Amendment doesn’t apply to former presidents.
The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to hear Trump’s appeal, likely making a major decision on the 14th Amendment and presidential eligibility. The Colorado ruling could set a precedent for other states grappling with similar lawsuits against Trump. This decision promises to remain a central legal and political battleground in the lead-up to the 2024 presidential election.