Colorado GOP Asks SCOTUS to Keep Trump on the Ballot

Trump himself also plans to appeal the Colorado ruling
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 28, 2023 12:00 AM CST
Colorado Republican Party Appeals Trump Ballot Ban
Former President Donald Trump speaks during a commit to caucus rally, Dec. 19, 2023, in Waterloo, Iowa.   (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

The Colorado Republican Party on Wednesday appealed that state's supreme court decision that found former President Trump is ineligible for the presidency, the potential first step to a showdown at the nation's highest court over the meaning of a 155-year-old constitutional provision that bans from office those who "engaged in insurrection." The first impact of the appeal is to extend the stay of the 4-3 ruling from Colorado's highest court, which put its decision on pause until Jan. 4, the day before the state's primary ballots are due at the printer, or until an appeal to the US Supreme Court is finished, the AP reports. Trump himself has said he still plans to appeal the ruling to the nation's highest court as well.

"The Colorado Supreme Court has removed the leading Republican candidate from the primary and general ballots, fundamentally changing the course of American democracy," the party's attorneys wrote. The filing was posted on the website of a group run by Jay Sekulow, a former attorney for Trump representing the Colorado Republican Party who announced he was filing the appeal Wednesday. Colorado Republican Party chairman Dave Williams also said the appeal was filed Wednesday. The attorneys added: "Unless the Colorado Supreme Court's decision is overturned, any voter will have the power to sue to disqualify any political candidate, in Colorado or in any other jurisdiction that follows its lead. This will not only distort the 2024 presidential election but will also mire courts henceforth in political controversies over nebulous accusations of insurrection."

The US Supreme Court is expected to take the case, either after the Colorado GOP's appeal or Trump's own appeal. If Trump ends up off the ballot in Colorado, it would have minimal effect on his campaign because he doesn't need the state, which he lost by 13 percentage points in 2020, to win the Electoral College in the presidential election. But it could open the door to courts or election officials striking him from the ballot in other must-win states. To date, no other court has sided with those who have filed dozens of lawsuits to disqualify Trump under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, nor has any election official been willing to remove him from the ballot unilaterally without a court order.

(More Election 2024 stories.)

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