A coalition of Colorado voters is appealing to the Colorado Supreme Court a decision made by a Denver District Judge that declared former President Donald Trump qualified to run for the state’s presidency in 2024.
Trump’s Objection to the Ruling
The former president objected to the conclusion that, in connection with his supporters’ attack on the Capitol, he took part in an uprising.
Ruling ”Did Not Apply to the Presidency”
In response to the decision last week, Trump’s attorneys filed a court document stating, “The district court ruled that section three [of the 14th amendment] did not apply to the presidency because that position is not an ‘officer of the United States’.”
District Court Self-Admittedly Lacked Jurisdiction
“The district court nonetheless applied section three to President Trump, finding that he ‘engaged’ in an ‘insurrection’. Should these findings be vacated because the district court self-admittedly lacked jurisdiction to apply section three to President Trump?”
The Lodged Appeal
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (Crew), the organization that brought the lawsuit on behalf of six state petitioners, has filed an appeal. It contended that: “Section three of the 14th amendment, passed after the civil war, excludes from federal or state office those who engaged in insurrection against the constitution after previously taking an oath to support it.”
Exclude Trump From the Colorado Presidential Primary Ballot
“Because the district court found that Trump engaged in insurrection after taking the presidential oath of office, it should have concluded that he is disqualified from office and ordered the secretary of state to exclude him from the Colorado presidential primary ballot.”
The 91 Criminal Charges Trump Faces
The 14th Amendment is widely recognized for providing equal legal protection to every individual residing in the United States. In addition to 91 criminal accusations, 17 of which are related to efforts to rig the 2020 election, Trump also faces legal threats, such as a defamation trial stemming from a rape claim that a court deemed to be “substantially true.”
Trump Still Dominates Polling
Still, he leads polls pertaining to the Republican presidential nomination and faces off against Democratic incumbent Joe Biden in polls for the general election.
The Dilemma of Whether Trump Should Seek Office
Several lawsuits are attempting to utilize the 14th Amendment to prevent Trump from being elected. One of them is from Colorado. Additionally, plaintiffs have lost cases before judges in Minnesota and Michigan. Whether the amendment should bar Trump from running for government again is a matter of debate among experts.
The Most Important Amendment
This month, in an interview with the Guardian, renowned post-Civil War historian Eric Foner talked about “the most important amendment added to the constitution since the Bill of Rights in 1791.”
According to Foner, the crucial issue in the Colorado ruling—whether the president qualifies as “an officer of the United States”—”hasn’t been decided.”
“It certainly seems the normal understanding of the term ‘officer’ is someone holding office,” he remarked. “The president certainly holds office. When the constitution was ratified, there was no president … so it’s unclear … But I don’t see how you can … exclude the president from this language.”
Trying to Keep Out of Office Anybody Who Commits the Acts Described in Section 3
“If you take the whole of section three, I think it’s pretty clear that they are trying to keep out of office anybody who committed the acts that section three describes.”
An Attempt to Halt Constitutional Procedure
Although Foner claimed that Trump’s January 6, 2020, sending of rioters to the Capitol to block Biden’s certification of his defeat was “certainly [an attempt] to halt a constitutional procedure,” it was unclear if this constituted an act of rebellion or insurrection.
Legal Challenges to Trump Will “Take a Long Time”
Most analysts predict that Trump will face challenges under the 14th Amendment that wind up before the US Supreme Court. Legal lawsuits against Trump will unavoidably “take a long time” because there is no precedent on the matter, according to Foner.
A Red Flag in Front of a Bull
He remarked, “It would be weird if Trump is elected next fall. Then a year into his term of office he’s evicted because he doesn’t meet the qualifications. We saw how Trump reacted to actually losing an election. But now, if he won and then was kicked out of office, that would certainly be a red flag in front of a bull.”
No Reason to Allow Presidents Who Lead an Insurrection to Serve Again
“There would be no reason to allow Presidents who lead an insurrection to serve again while preventing low-level government workers who act as foot soldiers from doing so,” the appeal claims, based only on basic logic. “And it would defy logic to prohibit insurrectionists from holding every federal or state office except for the highest and most powerful in the land.”
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