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Trump appeals Colorado Supreme Court's removal from ballot to U.S. Supreme Court

Memebers of the Supreme Court of the United States 2022 - WIkimedia - Public Domain
Joe Mueller

(The Center Square) – Former President Donald Trump fulfilled a promise made last month to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court after the Colorado Supreme Court ruled he wasn’t constitutionally eligible for the state’s Republican presidential primary ballot in March.

Trump’s legal team filed their appeal to the nation’s highest court Wednesday after Colorado’s highest court ruled in a 4-3 decision his actions January 6, 2021, violated the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

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Donald Trump at the Pentagon 2017 - Public Domain

"The questions presented in this Petition are of the utmost importance," the request states. "President Trump is the leading candidate for the nomination for President of the United States of one of two major political parties. In 2020, President Trump received more than 74 million votes nationally, and more than 1.3 million votes in Colorado alone to be reelected as President of the United States. Thus, the Colorado Supreme Court decision would unconstitutionally disenfranchise millions of voters in Colorado and likely be used as a template to disenfranchise tens of millions of voters nationwide."

After six Republicans filed a lawsuit to remove Trump from the ballot last September, a district court ruled in favor of Trump. District Court Judge Sarah Wallace said the 14th Amendment doesn’t provide for the removal of Trump from the ballot. She said Trump “incited imminent lawless violence" but didn’t meet the definition of “engagement” found in the 14th Amendment.

The case was then appealed to the Colorado Supreme Court. Last week, the Colorado Republican Party appealed Trump’s case to the U.S. Supreme Court. That appeal automatically placed Trump on the March 5, 2024, primary ballot due to a stipulation in the Colorado Supreme Court ruling.

"The United States Supreme Court now has two appeals to consider in determining whether Donald Trump is eligible to appear on Colorado's Presidential Primary ballot," Democratic Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold said in a statement on Wednesday. "I urge the Court to consider this case as quickly as possible. Coloradans — and the American people — deserve clarity on whether someone who engaged in insurrection may run for the country's highest office."

Griswold’s office stated Trump will appear on the state’s 2024 presidential primary ballot when it is certified on Friday. However, if the U.S. Supreme Court declines to take the case or otherwise affirms the Colorado Supreme Court ruling, Trump would be removed from the ballot. A conference day for the Supreme Court was previously scheduled for Friday, January 5.

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© iStock - NiroDesign

The appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court also states disputed questions of qualifications for president are reserved for Congress to resolve. It also states Section 3 of the 14th Amendment cannot apply to Trump as it doesn't list the presidency.

"This reading defies common sense and is not correct," the document says of the Colorado Supreme Court's ruling. 

The request also argues there wasn't an "insurrection" January 6, 2021, as it's defined in the U.S. Constitution.

"By contrast, the United States has a long history of political protests that have turned violent," the document states. "In the summer of 2020 alone, violent protestors targeted the federal courthouse in Portland, Oregon, for over 50 days, repeatedly assaulted federal officers and set fire to the courthouse, all in support of a purported political agenda opposed to the authority of the United States."