Colorado judge rules to keep Trump on GOP primary ballot
Former President Donald Trump will be able to participate in Colorado’s Republican primary ballot, a Denver District Court judge ordered Friday evening.
Judge Sarah B. Wallace ruled against a group of six Republican and unaffiliated electors in Colorado, represented by the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), who filed a lawsuit in September that sought to bar Trump from participating in the primaries. For the Republican Party in the state. Suffrage under Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment, which disqualifies persons from running for office if they have engaged in “rebellion or rebellion” against the United States. The petitioners claimed that his activity on January 6 necessitated this “rebellious ban.”
In a 102-page opinion, Wallace cited “competing interpretations” of the Constitutional Clause and “lack of specific guidance in text or historical sources” in order to rule on its application to Trump.
“To be clear, part of the court’s decision is its reluctance to adopt an interpretation that would disqualify a presidential candidate without a clear and unambiguous indication that that was the intent of Section III… Here, the record demonstrates a remarkable amount of bipartisan tension Wallace wrote: “Competing interpretations, and lack of specific guidance in the text or historical sources. As a result, the Court finds that Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment does not apply to Trump.”
Trump’s team celebrated a Colorado judge’s rejection of a CREW challenge to keep Trump off the GOP ballot in 2024 by asserting that efforts to invoke Section 3 of the 14th Amendment against Trump amounted to election interference — noting that voters had a “constitutional right” to vote Trump was saved.
“We applaud today’s ruling in Colorado, which is another nail in the coffin of un-American ballot challenges,” Trump spokesman Stephen Cheung wrote in a statement. “These cases represent the most cynical and blatant political attempts to interfere in the upcoming presidential election.” .
Cheung also said that “the American voter has the constitutional right to vote for the candidate of their choice, with President Donald J. Trump leading in huge numbers. That right has been rightly upheld in Colorado today.”
CREW said in a statement that they will file an appeal with the Colorado Supreme Court “soon.”
“Today was not the end of this effort, but another step along the way,” CREW President Noah Bookbinder said.
The organization highlighted the fact that the judge’s order was “the first time a presidential candidate has been found to have been involved in the insurrection, and this was discovered after a comprehensive evidentiary hearing.”
“The court’s decision confirms what our clients have alleged in this lawsuit: that Donald Trump engaged in insurrection based on his role on January 6,” Bookbinder said. “We are proud to bring this landmark case and know that we are right on the facts and right on the law. When we filed this case, we knew it likely would not end up at the district court level.”
Colorado’s GOP primary ballot must be certified by January 5, so the appeal will move quickly. The state votes to choose its party candidates on Super Tuesday, which falls on March 5.
Colorado’s decision is consistent with a series of recent victories for Trump in connection with several major attempts to keep him from the ballot in individual states in 2024 under Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Judges in Michigan and Minnesota ruled over the past week that Trump can remain on the ballot in both states, dismissing lawsuits filed by Citizens and Free Speech for the People (FSFP), another watchdog organization that claimed the former president should be barred from voting because of his position. Actions around January 6.
FSFP formally filed its appeal Thursday with the Michigan Court of Appeals after Michigan Court of Claims Judge Robert Redford dismissed the lawsuit on Tuesday.
Colorado held its only evidentiary hearing in the three lawsuits, with five days of witness testimony and evidence review completed in early November. Both parties presented closing arguments on Wednesday.
This article originally appeared on abcnews.go.com