by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The Colorado Supreme Court ruled to keep former President Donald Trump off the 2024 ballot, misconstruing a Civil War-era constitutional provision barring candidates who “engaged in insurrection” from elected office.
In a 4-3 decision on Tuesday, the far-left court, dominated by judges appointed by Democrat governors, voted to keep Colorado residents from casting ballots for the likely Republican presidential nominee. As The Wall Street Journal reported, “The Colorado case to date has focused on the Republican primary but the court’s ruling would apply with equal force to the general election.”
“A majority of the court holds that Trump is disqualified from holding the office of president under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment,” the judges wrote.
The high court decision overturned a district court ruling that found Trump “incited” the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021, but that the constitutional stipulation for those who engage in “insurrection” does not apply to the presidency. A similar effort to remove Trump from the Minnesota ballot on the same grounds failed in November.
“The Court holds there is scant direct evidence regarding whether the Presidency is one of the positions subject to disqualification,” Colorado District Judge Sarah Wallace wrote last month. “The Court holds that it is unpersuaded that the drafters intended to include the highest office in the Country in the catchall phrase ‘office … under the United States.’”
Trump’s campaign promptly pledged to appeal the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision.
“The Colorado Supreme Court issued a completely flawed decision tonight and we will swiftly file an appeal to the United States Supreme Court and a concurrent request for a stay of this deeply undemocratic decision,” Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung said in a statement Tuesday. “We have full confidence that the U.S. Supreme Court will quickly rule in our favor and finally put an end to these unAmerican lawsuits.”