US Supreme Court asked to hear case on removal of Trump from Colorado primary ballot News
"Donald Trump" - Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0
US Supreme Court asked to hear case on removal of Trump from Colorado primary ballot

The Colorado Republican State Central Committee (CRSCC) filed a petition for a writ of certiorari Wednesday to overturn the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision which removed former president Donald Trump from the 2024 Republican primary ballot. The Colorado Supreme Court found Trump engaged in an insurrection on January 6, 2021.

Represented by the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), the CRSCC’s petition to take the case to the Supreme Court focuses on section three of the Fourteenth Amendment and the First Amendment’s right of association.

The petition begins with an examination of specific language in section three of the Fourteenth Amendment. That provision prevents any person from holding office in the US if they previously took an oath and “shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against [the US Constitution.]” The petitioners argue that the presidency is not an office covered under section three. Rather, they claim that the offices only include a “congressman, state legislator, or state officer.” This argument cites support in Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution, which directs the president to “Commission all the Officers of the United States.” Because this provision states that the president can commission all US officers, the petitioners reason that the president is not included in this category because it would be contradictory.

The second argument the petitioners make under section three of the Fourteenth Amendment is that the Colorado Supreme Court overstepped its authority because only Congress has the power to enforce this section. They further claim that Trump would have to be convicted under 18 USC § 2383 (which criminalizes insurrection) for section three to apply.

Finally, the petition claims the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision violates voters’ First Amendment right of association because it prevents a voter from choosing their preferred political candidate.

In a press announcement by ACLJ attorneys Jay and Jordan Sekulow, the organization said, “The Constitution, our system of democratic elections in our constitutional republic, the right of a party to designate its candidates of choice for its members, due process – and, ultimately, the voters’ right to choose who they vote for are all under assault.”

Former Colorado Republican state senator and lead plaintiff Norma Anderson reacted after the Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling, stating, “I was surprised and delighted. I’m very happy with the ruling. I felt they read the Constitution. I sat and watched January 6 all day long, and I cried.”

Also on Wednesday, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that it would not block Trump from appearing on its 2024 primary ballot. Last week, a West Virginia district court also dismissed a lawsuit seeking to ban Trump from the next primary ballot.