Colorado Republicans ask Supreme Court to hear Trump ballot dispute

December 28, 2023
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WASHINGTON — The Colorado Republican Party on Wednesday asked the Supreme Court to overturn a state court ruling saying former President Donald Trump is ineligible to run for president in the state because of his role in events leading up to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Trump’s own legal team has already said it intends to file its own appeal. In the meantime, under the terms of the Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling, Trump will remain on the ballot for the state’s Republican primary.

In a first ruling of its kind, the state Supreme Court ruled that Trump was disqualified from the office of president under the Constitution’s 14th Amendment, which bars people who “engaged in insurrection” from holding office. The case raises various novel legal questions, including whether the language applies to the office of president.

“The drastic effects of the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision on the 2024 primary election necessitates this court’s immediate review,” lawyers for the Colorado Republican Party said in Wednesday’s court filing. If the ruling is not reversed, it will have “an irreparable effect on the election process,” they added.

The U.S. Supreme Court could, if it chooses, take up the case quickly and decide the matter in its current term, which ends in June.

Jay Sekulow and his son Jordan, lawyers at the conservative American Center for Law and Justice representing the state Republican Party, said in a blog post that the dispute is “the greatest election interference case in U.S. history and represents a grave attack on millions of Americans’ fundamental right to vote.”

The initial lawsuit was filed on behalf of six Colorado voters by the left-leaning government watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and two law firms. So far, other courts to have ruled on the issue have rejected similar challenges. On Wednesday, the Michigan Supreme Court declined to weigh in on an effort to remove Trump from that state’s ballot.

The U.S. Supreme Court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority, including three Trump appointees, is set to play a major role heading into the 2024 presidential election. It already turned down an early request from special counsel Jack Smith to weigh in on whether Trump is immune from prosecution over his role on Jan. 6, but that issue is almost certain to reach it again within weeks.



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