Colorado’s Supreme Court has set a hearing for December 6 to review cross-appeals in a case aiming to block former President Donald Trump from being listed on the 2024 presidential ballot.
Led by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), the plaintiffs seek to overturn Judge Sarah Wallace’s ruling that Trump, according to the Fourteenth Amendment, is not considered an officer of the United States. The Amendment, therefore, cannot be employed to disqualify him from appearing on the Colorado primary ballot.
In response to the plaintiffs’ appeal, Trump’s attorneys filed a cross-appeal, criticizing Wallace’s court for making unsupported legal and factual findings. Despite being a narrow victory for Trump, his legal team argues that the court’s errors warrant review, especially as the petitioners may seek a review of the key issue on which Trump prevailed.
This lawsuit is one among several filed across the U.S., citing the Fourteenth Amendment’s “Insurrection Clause” as grounds to prevent Trump, accused of engaging in insurrection, from running for federal office. The expedited hearing is crucial due to the urgency of certifying ballots for Colorado’s primary on March 5, 2024, by January 5.
While strategic cases were filed nationwide to keep Trump off the ballot, he has secured favorable outcomes in various states, including New Hampshire, Minnesota, Michigan, and now, Colorado. Trump is maintaining a strong lead in the primaries and is projected to lead in a hypothetical head-to-head matchup against President Biden.
The Supreme Court has not previously ruled on the Civil War-era amendment, and Trump’s opponents see this legal effort as a bold move. Trump’s attorneys argue that he never engaged in insurrection, and his questioning of the 2020 election results is protected political speech under the First Amendment.
The Colorado district court judge, Wallace, acknowledged that Trump engaged in insurrection, but she agreed with his legal team that the Fourteenth Amendment does not apply to the office of the president. Trump was acquitted by the U.S. Senate, continues to deny wrongdoing, and maintains that the Fourteenth Amendment’s text does not mention the president.
Both sides will present oral arguments on December 6 at 1:00 p.m. MST. The case is Anderson v. Griswold, No. 2023SA300, in the Colorado Supreme Court.