Judge’s Ruling: Trump Eligible in Colorado Despite Insurrection

Former President Donald Trump at the Marriott Marquis on July 26, 2022, in Washington (Getty Images file)

Former President Donald Trump has been granted permission to appear on Colorado’s primary ballot, despite facing allegations of involvement in the insurrection that took place on January 6, 2021. In a ruling delivered on Friday, District judge responded to a lawsuit that sought to remove Trump from the ballot, citing Section III of the Fourteenth Amendment, which prohibits individuals who have engaged in insurrection or rebellion from holding public office. The plaintiffs have expressed their intention to appeal the decision to the Colorado Supreme Court in the coming days.

In her ruling, District Court Judge Sarah B. Wallace stated that Trump’s involvement in the insurrection through incitement had been established by the petitioners. She further emphasized that the First Amendment does not protect Trump’s speech in this context. The judge highlighted that Trump’s incendiary rhetoric, coupled with his history of endorsing political violence and his ability to stoke the anger of his supporters, created a situation that was likely to incite disorder and lawlessness.

However, the judge determined that the constitutional clause in question did not apply to Trump, as the amendment does not explicitly mention the presidency, and therefore, Trump did not meet the criteria of being an “officer of the United States.”

This marks the third attempt to remove Trump from a primary ballot, following similar challenges in Minnesota and Michigan. In those cases, as well, judges ruled in favor of Trump’s eligibility to remain on the Republican primary ballots.

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