A Colorado judge has denied former President Donald Trump’s request to dismiss a lawsuit aiming to prevent him from appearing on the state ballot. The judge ruled that Trump’s free-speech objections did not apply in this case, despite his legal team arguing that a Colorado law protecting free speech should shield him. Additionally, the judge stated that the law conflicted with a state requirement to resolve questions about Trump’s eligibility quickly. The lawsuit, filed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, claims that allowing Trump on the ballot would violate a provision of the 14th Amendment. The case will explore the meaning of “insurrection” under the amendment, focusing on whether it applies to Trump’s actions related to the Capitol attack. Trump’s attorneys dispute the application of the amendment to his actions and argue that it requires an act of Congress to be enforced. The trial to determine Trump’s eligibility for the Colorado ballot is scheduled for October 30.
Multiple lawsuits involving Trump could potentially reach the U.S. Supreme Court, testing the Civil War-era constitutional amendment that has never been ruled on by the court. These lawsuits are also connected to Trump’s criminal cases in Washington, D.C., and Georgia, where he is being charged for trying to overturn the 2020 election results. Trump argues that his actions are an exercise of free speech aimed at challenging the validity of the vote tally. The outcome of these cases will have significant implications for the interpretation of the 14th Amendment.
The Chief Counsel for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, Donald K. Sherman, has praised the judge’s decision, emphasizing its well-reasoned and detailed nature. On the other hand, Trump’s Denver-based attorney, Geoffrey Blue, has not yet commented on the ruling.
This Colorado case, along with similar cases in Minnesota and Michigan, is poised to shape the interpretation of the 14th Amendment and its application to Trump’s actions. It will also explore whether Trump’s incitement of the Capitol attack qualifies as “insurrection” under the amendment. Trump’s eligibility for the Colorado ballot will be determined in the upcoming trial scheduled for October 30.
Reporting by Gruver from Cheyenne, Wyoming.
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