Group Files Suit to Keep Trump Off the Colorado Ballot

Catherine Yang
By Catherine Yang
September 8, 2023Donald Trumpshare

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a liberal group, filed a lawsuit against the Secretary of State in Colorado and former President Donald Trump, who is seeking to run again for the presidency in 2024, on behalf of six voters.

The group argued in the lawsuit filed Wednesday that, under the 14th Amendment, those who have supported an “insurrection” cannot hold office. They allege that President Trump’s challenge of the 2020 election results constituted just that.

“Due to his disqualification under Section 3, Trump is constitutionally ineligible to assume the Office of the President,” they wrote, arguing that it is part of the secretary of state’s duties to keep him off the ballot for both the primary and general election. They argue that the secretary has not committed to doing so, and “based on historical practice” doesn’t seem likely to, and ask a judge to declare her actions to allow President Trump on the ballot “a breach or neglect of duty or other wrongful act.”

A similar case was recently tossed out in Florida, where Judge Robin Rosenberg, an appointee of Democrat President Barack Obama, stated that she lacked jurisdiction.

“An individual citizen does not have standing to challenge whether another individual is qualified to hold public office,” she wrote.

Several suits of this nature are expected to be filed in various states as the 2024 elections draw near, as liberal groups have been vocal about this strategy to keep President Trump, the GOP frontrunner by far, off the ballot.

Legal experts have disagreed on whether President Trump’s actions in 2020 after the general election constitution “insurrection,” some noting that the criminal cases against him for his contest of the election results do not charge him with such.

14th Amendment

The 14th Amendment was ratified in 1868, in the wake of the Civil War.

It granted citizenship and equal protection under the law to all persons born or naturalized in the United States, including former slaves. It also allowed the federal government to punish states that infringed on citizens’ right to vote, and prevented anyone who engaged in insurrections or rebellions against the nation from holding civil, military, or elected office without two-thirds approval from both chambers of Congress. Congress thus required the formerly Confederate states to ratify the 14th Amendment in order to gain federal representation again.

Liberal groups now say the third section, the “insurrection clause,” is enough to keep President Trump off any future ballots, and are preparing lawsuits as various legal experts weigh in on the matter in the media.

In 2021, Free Speech For People sent letters to election officials in every state pushing for just that. Ron Fein, the group’s legal director, told the Associated Press there was little noise about it then, but the strategy has now been picked up again.

A similar case was also brought against. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green (R-Ga.), but the judge ruled in the congresswoman’s favor.

Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes recently spoke about the issue in a podcast, claiming the issue is not in the hands of secretaries of state as these groups seem to think. He called the 14th Amendment cases against President Trump something one “can’t enforce” in Arizona, because of an Arizona Supreme Court ruling, while also describing the state law as “stupid.”

Many have pointed out that this strategy may result in different rulings in different states, and ultimately would have to be settled by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Jan. 6 Events

The petitioners’ arguments claiming “insurrection” center around the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol breach events.

“President Trump was the mob’s leader, and the mob was his weapon. The mob traveled from throughout the country to Washington because the President summoned them there. He instructed the mob to march on the Capitol and they complied,” they wrote (pdf).

They further sought to liken the event to the Civil War that preceded the 14th Amendment by arguing that “racism and white supremacy” had “pervaded Trump’s insurrection” because the places where the then-president challenged election results were “urban” areas with large black populations. They allege that people at the Capitol “terrorized Black police officers with racial slurs and jabbed one such officer with a Confederate flag—a symbol of white supremacy and another failed insurrection against the United States.”

They cast President Trump’s actions as “coercive” and his supporters’ as “violent.”

President Trump has already been indicted in Washington, D.C. for contesting the election results, and the charges do not include insurrection or inciting violence, as some had speculated after he made an announcement on social media that he was the target of special counsel Jack Smith’s Jan. 6 grand jury.

The indictment instead charges him with conspiracy on four counts, alleging that President Trump knew he had lost the election and was challenging the results in spite of that.

“His efforts to change the outcome in any state through recounts, audits, or legal challenges were uniformly unsuccessful,” reads the indictment, which later continues on to call the alternate electors in seven states “fraudulent.”

From The Epoch Times

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