Colorado Supreme Court to hear case Trump ballot challenge

Last month a Denver judge found that Trump instigated the Capitol riot, but that he could remain on the ballot.

Published: December 6, 2023 11:04am

The Colorado Supreme Court on Wednesday will hear a case filed to disqualify former President Donald Trump from the 2024 ballot, and the decision could send the case to the U.S. Supreme Court ahead of the presidential election.

Cases have been filed challenging Trump's eligibility for office in dozens of states across the country, and while no court has declared Trump ineligible for office, Colorado may provide one of the most hostile venues to the former president as all seven justices are Democratic appointees, according to Politico

Few of the cases filed in other cases have progressed beyond the initial stages. A Michigan judge dismissed a challenge to Trump's candidacy while an appeals court is expected to rule on the case after Dec. 8. The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled in favor of allowing Trump on the Republican primary ballot, but said challengers could bring a second case before the general election after the primary.

The cases are being filed by plaintiffs who argue that Trump should be banned from running for office under the 14th Amendment's insurrection clause, which bans sworn officials who participated in an insurrection or rebellion from holding higher office.

The Colorado justices will consider whether Trump provoked and participated in the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol riot, and if so, whether he should be removed from the ballot for his actions.

Last month a Denver judge found that Trump instigated the Capitol riot, but that he could remain on the presidential primary ballot, as she found that the 14th Amendment's insurrection clause does not apply to the president. 

"I think it is important that a court of law has decided that Donald Trump engaged in insurrection," Colorado Democratic Secretary of State Jena Griswold said. "The court’s decision to say the presidency is excluded from section 3 of the 14th Amendment is the really surprising part. Under that decision, Donald Trump is above the law when it comes to insurrection."

If the Colorado Supreme Court rules against Trump, the case is likely to be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. 

Follow Madeleine Hubbard on X or Instagram.

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