Group looking at 14th Amendment to have Trump removed from ballots in Colorado – “No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”
Thus reads Section 3 of the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution, which some have interpreted to be the perfect reason to bar former president Donald Trump from vying for the top seat at the White House for a second time.
An advocacy group called the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), which is based in Washington, filed a lawsuit to keep Trump’s name off the ballots in the state, citing the passage in the 14th Amendment barring individuals from running for office.
The group has cited the former chief executive’s alleged involvement in the events at the capital following the results of the 2020 presidential election. Trump is facing an indictment over these events, but has consistently denied any involvement in the incident. The trial is set to begin next year.
The Constitution does not specify how the ban should be enforced, and would only apply in the first place should Trump become the official Republican presidential candidate for next year’s elections. He has also yet to be tried regarding the incident at the capital.
Historically, the rule has only been applied twice, and way back in the 1800s, against former members of the Confederate Army.
Colorado’s Secretary of State Jena Griswold said in a statement that “I look forward to the Colorado Court’s substantive resolution of the issues, and am hopeful that this case will provide guidance to election officials on Trump’s eligibility as a candidate for office,” but said in an interview that the 14th Amendment clause and its application to Trump have been “conversations among secretaries”. “We have been thinking about this in my office for quite some time, before the start of the year, assuming that this will play out,” Griswold said.
Trump has fought back on the possible disqualification based on the 14th Amendment clause, posting on social media that “almost all legal scholars have voiced opinions that the 14th Amendment has no legal basis or standing relative to the upcoming 2024 Presidential Election.”
However, the group has seen some success using the same clause in a smaller capacity, using a legal mechanism that was different but related to the clause to remove an elected county commissioner in New Mexico from office. A judge ordered Couy Griffin to vacate his office following a suit spearheaded by CREW; Crew was among those found guilty for trespassing on Capitol grounds on January 6, 2021.
Tim Ramos has written for various publications, corporations, and organizations – covering everything from finance, politics, travel, entertainment, and sports – in Asia and the U.S. for more than 10 years.