Trump Asks Supreme Court to Quickly Void Colorado Ruling

Filing argues former president wasn't part of an insurrection
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 3, 2024 7:30 PM CST
Trump Asks Supreme Court to Quickly Void Colorado Ruling
Attorney Eric Olson, far right, argues before the Colorado Supreme Court on Dec. 6 in Denver.   (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, Pool)

Former President Trump took his appeal of Colorado's decision barring him from its presidential primary ballot to the US Supreme Court on Wednesday, seeking a ruling that will prevent other states from doing the same thing. Colorado's Supreme Court had found Trump was ineligible, based on the US Constitution, because of his involvement in the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. Trump's lawyers argue that no one should not be kept from casting a ballot for the former president, saying the US Supreme Court should "return the right to vote for their candidate of choice to the voters." They asked the justices to act promptly, the Washington Post reports.

The Colorado Republican Party has filed a similar appeal to the US Supreme Court, and Trump already has appealed a similar finding by Maine's secretary of state. The Maine and Colorado decisions are on hold pending the final outcomes, but the appeals add pressure to the Supreme Court to decide the issues. "The Colorado Supreme Court decision would unconstitutionally disenfranchise millions of voters in Colorado and likely be used as a template to disenfranchise tens of millions of voters nationwide," Trump's legal team wrote, per the New York Times. "Indeed, the Maine secretary of state, in an administrative proceeding, has already used the Colorado proceedings as justification for unlawfully striking President Trump from that state's ballot."

Among the arguments Trump's filing makes is that, contrary to the state findings, he did not engage in insurrection—even if others did—and so isn't barred from office by Section 3 of the Constitution's 14th Amendment. The text doesn't specifically say the prohibition applies to the president, though it refers to officers of the nation. "The Constitution's text and structure make clear that the president is not an 'officer of the United States,'" the filing says, per CNN. The clause has been invoked a few times, per the AP, but the Supreme Court has never ruled on it. (More Donald Trump 2024 stories.)

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