The rumblings about the use of the 14th Amendment to disqualify former President Donald Trump from appearing on state election ballots is now a roar — at least in Colorado. A group of Colorado voters has become the first in the nation to challenge the inclusion of Trump’s name on the Colorado ballot.
The effort isn’t entirely local, nor is it entirely 14th Amendment: the ballot-qualification petition has become real because of the involvement of an unnamed national liberal group, some registered Republicans, and unaffiliated voters. It names both Trump, the presumed Republican front-runner, and Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold as the defendants. Strange bed-fellows for sure.
The lawsuit makes the case that Trump is barred from seeking or holding office because of his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. The plaintiffs are all Republican or unaffiliated voters, including some former officeholders.
The legal petition that seeks to prevent Trump from a ballot slot on the Colorado the 2024 election reads:
“(Trump) knowingly sought to subvert our Constitution and system of elections through a sustained campaign of lies. His efforts culminated on January 6, 2021, when he incited, exacerbated, and otherwise engaged in a violent insurrection at the United States Capitol by a mob who believed they were following his orders, and refused to protect the Capitol or call off the mob for nearly three hours as the attack unfolded.”
Some across the U.S., including legal scholars, have raised the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution, Section Three as the basis for a challenge to Trump. It expressly prohibits a person who has “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same” from running for office. But this Colorado lawsuit challenges his fitness to run for office under the weight of the thousands of lies that have been perpetrated by Trump.