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Colorado GOP files appeal to overturn Colorado Supreme Court ruling banning Trump from ballot

After the Colorado Supreme Court ruled Trump should be removed from the state’s presidential primary ballot, a group representing Colorado’s Republican Party filed an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Donald Trump
Posted at 9:12 AM, Dec 28, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-28 11:14:16-05

DENVER — A group representing Colorado’s Republican Party filed an appeal to the United States Supreme Court Wednesday, calling last week’s ruling by the state’s highest court that bans former President Donald Trump from appearing on the state ballot “a grave attack on millions of Americans’ fundamental right to vote.”

Lawyers for the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) on Wednesday issued a press release urging the high court to take the case ahead of the approaching start of the presidential primary season.

“Today, we just filed a petition for certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the Colorado Supreme Court’s dangerously flawed twisting of the 14th Amendment to ban President Trump from the ballot,” said the ACLJ release.

On Dec. 19, Colorado’s highest court ruled in a split decision that Trump was ineligible to return to the White House citing a rarely used clause of the U.S. Constitution that prohibits anyone who has taken an oath of office from holding public office again if they have “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” against the United States.

It would be the first time in history that Section 3 of the 14th Amendment would be used to render a presidential candidate unqualified to run for office.The Colorado Supreme Court’s decision overturned a district court judge’s ruling that the former president incited the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol attack but that it was unclear if the insurrection clause was intended to cover the office of president.

ACLJ lawyers said the appeal would focus on three arguments including that the office of president is not covered in the disqualification provision of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. Lawyers representing Colorado Republicans also said the state’s supreme court decision violates the local party’s “First Amendment associational right to choose its own political candidates,” read the release.

A similar case in Michigan ended on Wednesday with that state's supreme court refusing to hear an appeal from groups seeking to keep Trump off the ballot, meaning Trump will remain on that ballot.

The Colorado State Supreme Court stayed its decision until Jan. 4, 2024 or until the U.S. Supreme Court picked up or made a decision on an appeal.Colorado officials have said the case must be resolved by the state’s Jan. 5 deadline to print presidential primary ballots.

ACLJ lawyers reiterated urgency for the high court to take the case because of “an avalanche of similar cases being filed around the country” that could have “an irreparable effect on the electoral process.”

Read the full appeal here.

Trump asks appeals court to toss election case on immunity grounds

The Associated Press contributed to this report.