a closeup of a blue suit and a red tie by Markus Spiske on Unsplash
The Colorado Supreme Court posted information about an appeal from a district court proceeding under the Colorado Election Code. The entirety of the information is approximately 200 pages long, and can be found and read on SCRIBD.com.
Here are some key parts of the information decided upon by the Colorado Supreme Court:
“In this appeal from a district court proceeding under the Colorado Election Code, the Supreme Court considers whether former President Donald J. Trump may appear on the Colorado Republican presidential primary ballot in 2024. A majority of the court holds that President Trump is disqualified from holding the office of president under Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Because he is disqualified, it would be a wrongful act under the Election Code for the Colorado Secretary of State to list him as a candidate on the presidential primary ballot. The court stays its ruling until January 4, 2024, subject to any further appellate proceedings.”
The Colorado Supreme Court begins with:
More than three months ago, a group of Colorado electors eligible to vote in the Republican presidential primary – both registered Republican and unaffiliated voters (“the Electors”) – filed a lengthy petition in the District Court for the City and County of Denver… asking the court to rule that former President Donald J. Trump (“President Trump”) may not appear on the Colorado Republican presidential primary ballot.
Invoking provisions of Colorado’s Uniform Election Code of 1992, the Electors requested that the district court prohibit Jena Griswold, in her official capacity as Colorado’s Secretary of State (“the Secretary”), from placing President Trump’s name on the presidential primary ballot. They claimed that Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (“Section Three”) disqualified President Trump from seeking the presidency. More specifically, they asserted that he was ineligible under Section Three because he engaged in insurrection on January 6, 2021, after swearing an oath as President to support the U.S. Constitution.
After permitting President Trump and the Colorado Republican State Central Committee (CRSCC) to intervene in the action below, the district court conducted a five day trial. The court found by clear and convincing evidence that President Trump engaged in insurrection as those terms are used in Section Three. But, the district court concluded, Section Three does not apply to the President. Therefore, the court denied the petition to keep President Trump off the presidential primary ballot.
The Colorado Supreme Court provided the following conclusions:
- The Election Code allows the Electors to challenge President Trump’s status as a qualified candidate based on Section Three. Indeed, the Election Code provides the Electors their only viable means of litigating whether President Trump is disqualified from holding office under Section Three.
- Congress does not need to pass implementing legislation for Section Three’s disqualification provision to attach, and Section Three is, in that sense, self-executing.
- Judicial review of President Trump’s eligibility for office under Section Three is not precluded by the political question doctrine.
- Section Three encompasses the office of the Presidency and someone who has taken an oath as President. On this point, the district court committed reversible error.
- The district court did not abuse its discretion in admitting portions of Congress’s January 6 Report into evidence at trial.
- The district court did not err in concluding that the events at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, constituted an “insurrection”.
- The district court did not err in concluding that President Trump “engaged in” that insurrection through his personal actions.
- President Trump’s speech inciting the crowd that breached the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, was not protected by the First Amendment.
The sum of these parts is this: President Trump is disqualified from holding the office of President under Section Three; because he is disqualified, it would be a wrongful act under the Election Code for the Secretary to list him as a candidate on the presidential primary ballot.
We do not reach these conclusions lightly. We are mindful of the magnitude and weight of the questions before us. We are likewise mindful of our solemn duty to apply the law, without fear or favor, and without being swayed by public reaction to the decisions that the law mandates we reach.
We are also cognizant that we travel in uncharted territory, and that this case presents several issues of first impression. But for our resolution of the Electors’ challenge under Election Code, the Secretary would be required to include President Trump’s name on the 2024 presidential primary ballot.
Therefore, to maintain the status quo pending any review by the U.S. Supreme Court, we stay our ruling until January 4, 2024 (the day before the Secretary’s deadline to certify the content of the presidential primary ballot). If review is sought in the Supreme Court before the stay expires on January 4, 2024, then the stay shall remain in place, and the Secretary will continue to be required to include President Trump’s name on the 2024 presidential ballot, until receipt of any order or mandate from the Supreme Court.
The Guardian reported the Colorado Supreme Court on Tuesday declared Donald Trump ineligible to hold office again under the US constitution’s insurrection clause.
In a historic decision, the justices ordered that he be removed from the state’s presidential primary ballot, after determining that he engaged in insurrection on 6 January 2021. The ruling sets up a likely showdown in the nation’s highest court to settle whether the January 6 attack on the Capitol amounted to an insurrection, and whether Trump’s involvement disqualifies him from running for office.
According to The Guardian, the 4-3 decision by the Colorado Supreme Court marks the first time a presidential candidate has been deemed unqualified for office under a rarely used provision that bars insurrectionists from holding office.
The Hill reported that the Trump campaign vowed Tuesday to swiftly appeal a Colorado court ruling to kick him off the ballot over his role in the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol, putting the matter on track to be decided by the Supreme Court of the United States.
Campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung (incorrectly) claimed “Democrat Party leaders are in a state of paranoia over the growing, dominant lead President Trump has amassed in the polls. They have lost faith in the failed Biden presidency and are now doing everything they can to stop the American voters from throwing them out of office next November.”
It appears that either spokesperson Cheung hadn’t read what was written on SCRIBD, or is intentionally telling a lie. It wasn’t Democrats who brought this case to the Colorado Supreme Court – it was registered Republicans and unaffiliated voters.
If I were to take a guess, I would say that the Colorado Supreme Court is setting a precedent that would allow other states to prevent former President Trump from appearing on the Republican ballot in 2024. If that holds true, it would mean that former President Trump would have a very difficult time gathering votes from states that ejected him from their 2024 ballots.