A battle waged by a Left-leaning group to prevent former President Donald Trump from appearing on Colorado’s 2024 presidential primary ballot has been rejected by a judge.
On Friday, Colorado Judge Sarah B. Wallace ruled that the 14th Amendment’s insurrection clause did not apply to the presidency, and therefore Trump could not be removed from the ballot. The challenge, filed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington on behalf of six Colorado voters, was ultimately unsuccessful in its attempt to disqualify the former president from running for office in the state.
“The court’s decision reflects its reluctance to interpret the 14th Amendment in a way that would disqualify a presidential candidate without clear and unmistakable evidence of intent,” Wallace wrote in her ruling. This ruling comes after similar efforts in Michigan and Minnesota also failed to prevent Trump from appearing on primary ballots in those states.
Steven Cheung, a spokesman for the Trump campaign, praised the decision and called it another defeat for the “un-American” attempts to remove Trump from the ballot. In a statement, Cheung said, “These cases represent the most cynical and blatant political attempts to interfere with the upcoming presidential election by desperate Democrats who know that Crooked Joe Biden is a failed president on the fast track to defeat.”
Despite denying the challenge, Wallace did acknowledge that the events of January 6 at the US Capitol amounted to an insurrection and suggested that Trump played a role in inciting the violence. “Trump acted with the specific intent to incite political violence and direct it at the Capitol with the purpose of disrupting the electoral certification,” Wallace wrote in her ruling. “Trump cultivated a culture that embraced political violence through his consistent endorsement of the same.”
Mario Nicolais, a lawyer for the group that challenged Trump’s eligibility, said they plan to appeal the ruling. “The court found that Donald Trump engaged in insurrection after a careful and thorough review of the evidence,” Nicolais stated. “We are very pleased with the opinion and look forward to addressing the sole legal issue on appeal, namely whether Section 3 of the 14th Amendment applies to insurrectionist presidents. We believe that it does.”
Trump, who is currently the leading contender for the 2024 Republican nomination, has recently polled ahead of President Joe Biden in crucial swing states. This news comes on the same day that House Speaker Mike Johnson announced publicly that footage from the January 6 insurrection would be made available for viewing. The previously released footage mostly focused on violent clashes between protesters and law enforcement, but the latest footage shows peaceful protesters walking past officers in an orderly manner.