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Judge Overseeing Trump 14th Amendment Case in Colorado Issues Protective Order

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


A state judge in Colorado who is overseeing a novel attempt to prevent former President Donald Trump from appearing on the 2024 ballot, citing the “insurrection” clause of the 14th Amendment, has already issued a major ruling in the case.

According to the site Man And Home, Judge Sarah B. Wallace of the Second Judicial District, “took a proactive step to maintain the safety of all involved parties, including herself and her staff,” including the issuance of “a protective order prohibiting threats and intimidation during the ongoing litigation.”

“I 100% understand everybody’s concerns for the parties, the lawyers, and frankly myself and my staff based on what we’ve seen in other cases,” she noted during last week’s hearing, the site reported.

Scott Gessler, a former Colorado secretary of state representing Trump in the matter, opposed the order, arguing that it is unnecessary since making threats and intimidating witnesses is already against the law.

The site added:

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The lawsuit aims to disqualify Trump from the 2024 ballot with the 14th Amendment, which contains a clause banning anyone who engaged in insurrection after swearing an oath to the Constitution from running for office. The case revolves around Trump’s involvement in the January 6th, 2021 attack on the Capitol.

The Colorado case is the first of its kind filed by a group with significant legal resources. It is widely anticipated that the issue will ultimately reach the U.S. Supreme Court, which has never before ruled on the insurrection provision in the 14th Amendment.

The site noted further that Wallace has also scheduled a date to hear arguments over whether Trump ought to be disqualified from the Colorado ballot under state law, which bars candidates from running in the state if they don’t meet certain qualifications. The report said that Wallace will likely decide the matter soon, allowing ample time before the primaries and the general election for appeals to the state Supreme Court and U.S. Supreme Court.

“Trump’s legal team is set to file two motions to dismiss the lawsuit. One of these motions will argue that the litigation is an attempt to infringe upon the former president’s free speech rights,” the report said, adding that Wallace has also set a date to hear those arguments.

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The request for the protective order was made by attorney Sean Grimsley, who represents the plaintiffs in the case. Grimsley cited a recent move by special counsel Jack Smith, who sought a gag order against Trump because of alleged threats made during Smith’s prosecution of the former president over his challenge to the 2020 presidential election results.

Grimsley emphasized Trump’s utilization of social media to issue statements concerning witnesses and the judicial system, the report added.

Meanwhile, an earlier report stated that the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to weigh in on arguments that Democrats and some Republicans regarding whether Trump can be barred from elective office under the 14th Amendment.

The high court will consider whether or not to take the case, John Castro v. Donald Trump, during their Sept. 29 conference. A final decision on whether to accept it will be made by Oct. 9, according to the site 1945.

“Castro, a Texas tax attorney, claims that Trump participated in an insurrection against the U.S. government by organizing his rally against certification of the 2020 election on Jan. 6, 2021. He is a declared candidate for the Republican nomination and has previously run for various offices. Castro ran for his first race in 2004 as a Democrat. He is currently running as a write-in candidate,” the site noted further.

His initial lawsuit was tossed out by U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon in June, the federal judge appointed by Trump who is also overseeing his classified documents case in Miami.

“The decision by the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida dismissing Petitioner John Anthony Castro’s civil action on the grounds that he lacks constitutional standing to sue another candidate who is allegedly unqualified to hold public office in the United States pursuant to Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution,” the candidate wrote in his Writ of Certiorari to the high court.

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