In a significant legal development, a Colorado-based judge has dismissed former President Donald Trump’s recent bid to quash a lawsuit aimed at preventing him from running for office in the 2024 elections. The lawsuit leverages the 14th Amendment, specifically its Section 3, which disqualifies individuals from holding public office if they have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the United States.
Judge Sarah Wallace of the Colorado District Court issued a comprehensive 24-page decision, refuting Trump’s claim that only Congress has the authority to determine ballot eligibility. She also countered his assertion that state electoral bodies lack the jurisdiction to invoke the 14th Amendment’s Section 3. Judge Wallace clarified that states have the prerogative to apply this section under their own statutes, even without federal enforcement laws.
This judicial decision is particularly timely, as the trial is scheduled to commence on October 30. The lawsuit was initiated by the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), representing a coalition of six voters from Colorado. These voters, who identify as Republicans or independents, include individuals who have served in various governmental capacities. They contend that Trump’s purported involvement in the January 6, 2021, Capitol attack disqualifies him from future candidacy.
The lawsuit argues that Trump broke his oath of office by “actively promoting and inciting a violent crowd that assaulted the Capitol in a vain attempt to retain power.” This case is part of a broader legal discourse, supported by several scholars and legislators, asserting that Trump is ineligible to run for office due to his actions surrounding the Capitol attack.
Earlier in the month, Judge Wallace had also dismissed another attempt by Trump’s legal representatives to have the case thrown out, stating that their free-speech defense was inapplicable. Similar legal actions invoking the 14th Amendment’s Section 3 have been initiated in other states like Minnesota and Michigan.
Furthermore, Trump’s conduct on January 6 led to a House committee referring the matter to the Justice Department after a lengthy investigation involving numerous witnesses from Trump’s administration. Subsequently, Trump faced indictments from the Justice Department and in the state of Georgia for efforts to overturn the 2020 election outcome.
This case adds another layer to the complex legal challenges that Trump faces, and it could have far-reaching implications for his political future.