Colorado Judge Rejects Trump’s Attempt to Dismiss Lawsuit Challenging Ballot Eligibility

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics allege Trump's inclusion on the Colorado ballot would contravene the 14th Amendment. (Image by Midjourney)

Former President Donald Trump’s bid to dismiss a lawsuit aimed at preventing his name from appearing on the Colorado state ballot has been denied by a Colorado District Judge, Sarah Wallace.

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The judge ruled that Trump’s arguments invoking free-speech protections were not applicable in this case.

Trump’s legal team had contended that a Colorado law safeguarding individuals from legal actions related to their exercise of free speech should shield him from the lawsuit. However, Judge Sarah Wallace determined that this law did not apply to the present situation.

Additionally, the law clashed with a state requirement mandating the speedy resolution of questions regarding Trump’s eligibility ahead of the January 5th deadline for certifying presidential candidates for the Colorado primary.

The lawsuit against Trump has been brought forth by the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, who allege that Trump’s inclusion on the Colorado ballot would contravene a provision of the 14th Amendment. This provision prohibits individuals who have “engaged in insurrection” against the Constitution from holding office.

Donald K. Sherman, the group’s chief counsel, praised Judge Wallace’s decision, characterizing it as a “well-reasoned and very detailed order” in a statement released on Thursday. Meanwhile, Geoffrey Blue, a Denver-based attorney representing Trump, has yet to respond to requests for comment.

The Colorado case is just one among several legal challenges involving Trump that could potentially test the interpretation of the Civil War-era constitutional amendment. Remarkably, this amendment has never been adjudicated by the U.S. Supreme Court. Legal actions in Minnesota and Michigan also hold the potential to reach the nation’s highest court.

These lawsuits also intersect with Trump’s defense in criminal cases filed against him in Washington, D.C., and Georgia, stemming from his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results.

Trump contends that he is being penalized for exercising free speech to challenge the legitimacy of the election’s outcome.

In the Colorado case, the central question will revolve around the definition of “insurrection” as outlined in the 14th Amendment.

It remains to be seen whether this provision solely pertains to acts of war against the U.S. or if it can encompass Trump’s actions in inciting a mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, in an effort to halt the certification of President Joe Biden’s victory.

Trump’s legal team disputes the applicability of the 14th Amendment to his actions and argues that it necessitates an act of Congress for enforcement, further contending that it does not pertain to the former president.

Trump’s attorney, Geoffrey Blue, highlighted the semantic distinction between the presidential oath to “preserve, protect and defend” the Constitution and the 14th Amendment’s reference to those who have sworn oaths to “support” the Constitution in a filing on October 6.

The trial to determine Trump’s eligibility for inclusion on the Colorado ballot is scheduled to commence on October 30.

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