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The Colorado Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal of a lower court’s ruling in favor of keeping former President Donald Trump on the state’s ballot next year.
The state high court’s decision comes after Judge Sarah B. Wallace ruled earlier this month that Trump was guilty of engaging in an insurrection but found that Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which forbids anyone who engaged in such activity from running for office, does not specifically name the presidency.
“Part of the Court’s decision is its reluctance to embrace an interpretation which would disqualify a presidential candidate without a clear, unmistakable indication that such is the intent of Section Three,” the judge wrote.
“After considering the arguments on both sides, the Court is persuaded that ‘officers of the United States’ did not include the President of the United States,” she said. “It appears to the Court that for whatever reason the drafters of Section Three did not intend to include a person who had only taken the Presidential Oath.”
“If the court rules in favor of plaintiffs, Trump’s name would not appear on either the primary election ballot, nor the general election ballot, in next year’s presidential race,” Truthout reported regarding the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision last week to hear the case.
“Colorado is not necessarily a swing state — Trump lost to President Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election by more than 13 points — but the outcome of the case, if Trump is indeed removed, could inspire other states to take similar actions against the former president,” the outlet noted further.
A left-leaning organization in Washington called Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics is representing some Republican and independent voters in the state who filed the lawsuit. They claim Trump incited his supporters to storm the U.S. Capitol Building on Jan. 6, 2021, though he implored them specifically to march “peacefully” to the Capitol to voice their disapproval for certifying the election on behalf of Biden.
And while Trump’s opponents called the incident an “insurrection,” others have said it was merely a protest that got out of hand and turned into a riot.
Just days earlier, a state judge in Michigan also issued a ruling rejecting a lawsuit to keep Trump off the ballot in that state under the same constitutional provision.
“Court of Claims Judge James Redford rejected arguments that Trump’s role in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol meant the court had to declare him ineligible for the presidency. Redford wrote that, because Trump followed state law in qualifying for the primary ballot, he cannot remove the former president,” The Associated Press reported following the ruling, the second in a week.
What’s more, Redford ruled that it should be up to Congress to decide whether Trump should be disqualified from elected office under the amendment’s provision barring anyone who “engaged in insurrection.”
Redford said deciding whether an event constituted “a rebellion or insurrection and whether or not someone participated in it” are questions that are best left to Congress and not “one single judicial officer.”
Continuing, he wrote that a judge “cannot in any manner or form possibly embody the represented qualities of every citizen of the nation — as does the House of Representatives and the Senate.”
The AP noted that Free Speech For People, “a liberal group that has brought 14th Amendment cases in a number of states, said it will immediately appeal the ruling to the Michigan Court of Appeals.”
Another judge in Minnesota issued a similar ruling in favor of Trump.
“Each and every one of these ridiculous cases have LOST because they are all un-Constitutional left-wing fantasies orchestrated by monied allies of the Biden campaign seeking to turn the election over to the courts and deny the American people the right to choose their next president,” Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung said after the Michigan decision.