The Colorado Supreme Court, in a landmark decision, ruled former President Donald Trump ineligible to run for the presidency in 2024, citing the U.S. Constitution’s insurrection clause. This historic verdict marks the first time Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which prohibits individuals who engaged in insurrection from holding office, has been applied to disqualify a presidential candidate.
The court’s decision stems from Trump’s alleged involvement in the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. Despite a district court judge’s earlier ruling that Trump’s actions incited an insurrection, it was previously unclear whether the provision applied to presidential candidates. The Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling, delivered by justices appointed by Democratic governors, concluded with a 4-3 vote that Trump is indeed disqualified under the 14th Amendment.
The ruling has significant implications for the upcoming presidential race and sets the stage for a potential legal battle in the United States Supreme Court. Trump’s reelection campaign immediately announced plans to appeal the decision, accusing the Colorado Supreme Court of participating in a “scheme to interfere in an election” and expressing confidence in a favorable ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court.
The campaign’s spokesperson, Steven Cheung, called the decision “flawed” and “deeply undemocratic.” The Colorado Supreme Court has stayed its decision until January 4 or until the U.S. Supreme Court addresses the case. The 14th Amendment’s text explicitly forbids those who have engaged in insurrection or rebellion from holding federal or state office, with a two-thirds vote in the House and Senate as the only means to remove this disqualification.
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