The Colorado Republican Party appealed to the state's Supreme Court on WednesdayFormer President Donald Trump is ineligible for the presidency, the first step in a showdown at the nation's highest court over the meaning of a 155-year-old constitutional provision barring “insurgents” from office.
First impression appeal A 4-3 ruling by Colorado's Supreme Court would extend the stay, which suspended the decision until Jan. 4, the day before the state's primary ballots go to the printer, or until an appeal is filed with the U.S. Supreme Court. Trump said he plans to appeal the ruling to the nation's Supreme Court.
The US Supreme Court has never ruled, which was added after the Civil War to prevent former confederates from returning to government. It states that anyone who has taken an oath to “support” the Constitution and is in “rebellion” against it cannot hold government office.
After Trump took office on January 6, 2021, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that it applies to him., intended to stop the certification of victory for President Biden in the 2020 presidential election. This is the first time in history that this provision has been used to block the campaign of a presidential candidate.
“The Colorado Supreme Court has removed the leading Republican candidate from the primary and general ballot, fundamentally changing the course of American democracy,” lawyers for the party wrote Wednesday.
They said, “Unless the Colorado Supreme Court overturns the ruling, any voter in Colorado or any subsequent jurisdiction will have the power to disqualify any political candidate. This not only distorts the 2024 presidential election, but further inundates the courts with political disputes over serious charges of sedition.”
The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to take up the case after either the Colorado GOP's appeal or Trump's own appeal. If Trump ends up on the ballot in Colorado, it will have minimal impact on his campaign because he won't need to win the Electoral College in the presidential election in a state he lost by 13 percentage points in 2020. But that opens the door to courts or election officials striking him off the ballot in other must-win states.
Sean Grimsley, a lawyer for the plaintiffs seeking Trump's disqualification in Colorado, said on a legal podcast last week that he hopes the case will move as quickly as he expects once the nation's highest court takes up the case.
“We're going to be asking for a very accelerated timeline for all the reasons I've said, and we've got a primary coming up on Super Tuesday, and we need to know the answer to that,” Grimsley said.
More than a dozen states, including Colorado, are scheduled to hold contests beginning March 5 — Super Tuesday.
To date, no other court has sided with the dozens of lawsuits filed to disqualify Trump under Article 3, nor has any election official been willing to unilaterally remove him from the ballot without a court order.
The Colorado case was seen as having the greatest chance of success, although it was filed by a Washington DC-based liberal group with insufficient legal evidence. All seven Colorado Supreme Court justices are appointed by Democrats.
However, the case's unprecedented constitutional questions are not neatly divided along partisan lines. Several prominent conservative legal theorists are among those calling for Trump's disqualification under Article 3. They argue that the plain meaning of the constitutional language bars him from running again. Presidency.
The half-dozen plaintiffs in the Colorado case are all Republican or unaffiliated voters.
Trump has been fiercely critical of the lawsuits, calling them “election interference.” He continued to do so on Wednesday to great fanfareThe Michigan Supreme Court left him at least on the primary ballot in that state.
“The people of Colorado have embarrassed our country by what they've done,” Trump said on Sean Hannity's radio show.