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Lawsuit seeks to bar Trump from Colorado GOP primary

The organization led the only successful case brought under Section 3 in more than a century when it led a lawsuit to remove New Mexico commissioner Couy Griffin.

September 7, 2023 7:46am

Updated: September 7, 2023 7:46am

A watchdog group filed a lawsuit to ban former President Donald Trump from the Colorado Republican primary ballot, arguing that his candidacy is prohibited under a clause in the U.S. Constitution that disqualifies officials from public office if they have participated in an "insurrection."

The group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, which was founded in 2003 to counter the conservative Judicial Watch, filed the lawsuit Wednesday on behalf of six Republican and unaffiliated Colorado voters. The group is arguing that under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, "Trump must be removed from the ballot" because he "violated" his oath to the U.S. by "recruiting, inciting and encouraging a violent mob that attacked the Capitol on January 6, 2021 in a futile attempt to remain in office."

Section 3 states that no state or federal official who has taken an oath to support the U.S. "shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof." The amendment, which was passed during post-Civil War Reconstruction, also allows for the House to impeach such a person.

The organization led the only successful case brought under Section 3 since 1869 last year when it led a lawsuit to remove Otero County commissioner Couy Griffin of New Mexico, who had founded Cowboys for Trump and was convicted of trespassing in connection to the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot.

Colorado Democrat Secretary of State Jena Griswold said she hoped the lawsuit "will provide guidance to election officials on Trump’s eligibility as a candidate for office," according to The Associated Press. The case may go up to the Supreme Court.

A spokesperson for Trump did not immediately respond to Just the News' request for comment.

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