Donald Trump, 2016 Republican presidential nominee, smiles during a campaign event in Pueblo, CO, U.S., on Monday, Oct. 3, 2016.
Matthew Staver | Bloomberg | Getty Images
The Colorado Supreme Court on Tuesday barred former President Donald Trump from appearing on the state’s ballots for next year’s election due to his inciting the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol riot, reversing a lower court ruling.
But the state Supreme Court stayed its ruling from taking effect until Jan. 4, “subject to further appellate proceedings.”
The ruling is the first time a state court has agreed that Trump, who is the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, should be disqualified from the 2024 election due to a U.S. constitutional provision barring people who have engaged in “insurrection” from federal office.
The Trump campaign immediately said it would ask the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the decision.
“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,” the Colorado Supreme Court said in its ruling.
“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 ruling said.
Colorado is scheduled to hold its presidential primary on March 5.
If the ruling stands, Trump would be denied the opportunity to contest for Colorado’s 10 votes in the Electoral College, the entity that selects a president every four years.
Courts in Minnesota and Michigan have rejected similar suits challenging Trump’s placement on the presidential ballot. But the issue continues to be litigated in many states, including Michigan, where plaintiffs have appealed the loss of their suit.
In a statement, Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung said, “Unsurprisingly, the all-Democrat appointed Colorado Supreme Court has ruled against President Trump, supporting a Soros-funded, left-wing group’s scheme to interfere in an election on behalf of Crooked Joe Biden by removing President Trump’s name from the ballot and eliminating the rights of Colorado voters to vote for the candidate of their choice.”
Cheung called the ruling “completely flawed” adding that “we will swiftly file an appeal to the United States Supreme Court and a concurrent request for a stay of this deeply undemocratic decision.”
“We have full confidence that the U.S. Supreme Court will quickly rule in our favor and finally put an end to these unAmerican lawsuits,” Cheung said.
A group of six Colorado voters in September sued to block Trump from state ballots in 2024 because of a claim he was barred due to the constitutional provision.
Section 3 says that “no person” can serve as an officer of the United States who, having previously taken an oath of federal office, “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” against the U.S.
The suit claimed that Trump’s incitement of the riot at the U.S. Capitol by a mob of his supporters was an act of insurrection.
The riot disrupted for hours the confirmation of President Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election. Trump had pressured his vice president, Mike Pence, to refuse to accept the Electoral College results in Biden’s favor at that proceeding.
In November, Denver District Court Judge Sarah Wallace ruled that Trump could appear on the ballot, even though she believed he had “engaged in insurrection” by inciting the riot.
Wallace said Trump’s name should be on the ballot because the office of president is not subject to Section 3.
Wallace’s ruling was appealed by the plaintiffs, and also by Trump, who objected to her finding that he had engaged in insurrection.
The Colorado Supreme Court heard arguments in the case on Dec. 6.
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