Donald Trump is ineligible to run for president in 2024 because of the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday.
The historic decision based on the 14th Amendment, barring Trump from the presidential primary ballot, sets up a battle before the nation’s highest court about the fate of next year’s election.
In a 4-3 ruling that will soon be appealed — and that is likely to inspire fierce criticism from Trump’s supporters and vocal applause from those who have condemned his behaviour around Jan. 6 — a majority of Colorado’s seven justices wrote that the former president “engaged in insurrection.”
“President Trump’s direct and express efforts, over several months, exhorting his supporters to march to the Capitol to prevent what he falsely characterized as an alleged fraud on the people of this country were indisputably overt and voluntary,” the justices wrote.
“Moreover,” they wrote, “the evidence amply showed that President Trump undertook all these actions to aid and further a common unlawful purpose that he conceived and set in motion: prevent Congress from certifying the 2020 presidential election and stop the peaceful transfer of power
In light of this, the ruling states, “we conclude that because President Trump is disqualified from holding the office of President under Section Three, it would be a wrongful act under the Election Code for the Secretary to list President Trump as a candidate on the presidential primary ballot.”
The justices stayed their ruling until Jan. 4, pending appeal.
Three judges dissented: Chief Justice Brian D. Boatright and Justices Carlos A. Samour Jr. and Maria E. Berkenkotter.
In his dissent, Boatright wrote that the “absence of an insurrection-related conviction” against Trump should have called for the case to be dismissed.
Samour wrote that the majority’s opinion “flies in the face of the due process doctrine.”
The ruling follows a monthslong challenge in Colorado to Trump’s ballot eligibility under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, a Civil War-era constitutional clause that deems former office-holders ineligible from running again if they took an oath to support the Constitution and then engaged in “insurrection or rebellion” against the United –