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Former President Donald Trump delivers a speech during a campaign event on November 11, 2023 in Claremont, New Hampshire.
The Colorado Supreme Court has agreed to hear appeals in a 14th Amendment challenge to former President Donald Trump’s candidacy and scheduled oral arguments for Dec. 6.
Trump’s team and the group trying to remove him from the Colorado ballot based on the 14th Amendment’s “insurrection ban” appealed different parts of last week’s lower court ruling, which found that Trump “engaged in an insurrection.” on January 6, 2021, but that the ban does not apply to the presidency.
Many experts believe the case, which was brought by Republican and independent voters in coordination with a liberal-leaning watchdog group called Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, will eventually somehow reach the U.S. Supreme Court.
Colorado District Court Judge Sarah Wallace on Friday issued a stunning 102-page decision that found Trump “engaged in an insurrection” on January 6, 2021, but concluded that the 14th Amendment’s “insurrection prohibition” It does not apply to presidents, according to the text of the amendment, which was ratified in 1868 after the Civil War.
It says U.S. officials who take an oath to support the Constitution are barred from future office if they “engage in an insurrection.” The provision explicitly prohibits insurrectionists from serving as U.S. senators, representatives, or even presidential electors, but says nothing about the presidency. It says it covers “any office, civil or military, under the United States,” and Wallace ruled that this does not include the office of presidency.
That key finding is what Trump’s opponents hope the Colorado Supreme Court will overturn.
“No court should adopt an interpretation of the Constitution that has such absurd results,” the challengers wrote in their appeal filing. “Fortunately, in this case, the text and the story agree with the result of common sense. Section 3 does not disqualify oath-breaking insurrectionists from all but the highest public office, nor does it give a single free pass to insurrectionary presidents.”
All seven Colorado Supreme Court justices were appointed by Democratic governors. Six of the seven subsequently won statewide retention elections to remain in office. The seventh was only named in 2021 and has not yet faced voters.
Sean Grimsley, a lawyer for Trump’s opponents, told CNN’s Erin Burnett on Monday that he was “hopeful” his appeal will prevail and overturn the “one issue” the judge “got wrong” about who does the ban. and who doesn’t. ‘t – apply to.
“We are going to take our claims to court. I think we presented a very good case, the judge issued a very detailed and exhaustive opinion; It took her until page 95 of a 102-page opinion to rule against us on any issue, so we’ll just move on. “We’re going to go to the Colorado Supreme Court and see what happens there.”
Elsewhere in Wallace’s ruling, he offered a harsh condemnation of Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election. He concluded that the former president “actively provoked the anger of his extremist supporters” and “acted with the specific intent of inciting violence.” politics and direct it toward the Capitol.”
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Trump has prevailed in similar constitutional challenges in several states, including Michigan and Minnesota, although other appeals are ongoing.
“It was an outrageous attempt to disenfranchise millions and millions of voters by removing us from the ballot,” Trump said Saturday at a campaign rally in Iowa. “We have now defeated the Democrats’ ballot grading scam.” radicals in Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire and other states.
Trump also appealed the decision, challenging several of the judge’s findings, including that he “participated” in the Jan. 6 insurrection.
Trump’s lawyers say Wallace came to the “correct” conclusion that the insurrection ban does not apply to presidents.
However, they asked the Colorado Supreme Court to overturn its other decisions, arguing that it “committed multiple serious jurisdictional and legal errors…creating new, unprecedented, and unsupported legal standards in applying” the constitutional disqualification clause.
The lawyers said in a court filing that they want these issues corrected now because of the possibility of “further review” of the case, referring to the long-awaited eventual appeals to the Supreme Court.
This headline and story have been updated with additional news.