Colorado Supreme Court rules Trump is disqualified from presidency for Jan. 6 riot

The Colorado Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that former President Donald Trump is disqualified from holding the presidency under the Constitution’s so-called insurrection clause and ordered the secretary of state to exclude his name from the state’s Republican presidential primary ballot.

The landmark decision from the Colorado Supreme Court that Trump cannot hold public office under the Civil War-era provision is unprecedented, and it marks the first time a court has found him to be ineligible to return to the White House due to his conduct surrounding the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. The ruling does not apply outside of Colorado, and the state high court paused its decision until Jan, 4.

“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 court’s majority wrote. “Therefore, the Secretary may not list President Trump’s name on the 2024 presidential primary ballot, nor may she count any write-in votes cast for him.”

Lawsuits challenging Trump’s candidacy have been filed in more than 25 states ahead of the 2024 election, though the Colorado case brought on behalf of six voters marks the most immediate threat to his campaign.

Trump is likely to appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, setting up a high-stakes showdown over his eligibility to run just as voters in early states begin casting their ballots in the Republican primaries. The case adds to the ongoing legal issues facing Trump and his presidential campaign, including a criminal case related to the 2020 presidential election that is set to go to trial in March if allowed to move forward.

Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold has until Jan. 5 to certify the candidates for the state’s March 5 primary. National polls show Trump atop the field of candidates vying for the Republican presidential nomination.

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