Colorado Supreme Court kicks Trump off ballot, citing ‘insurrection’

(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) –Colorado’s Supreme Court has ruled that Donald Trump cannot run for president next year in the state, citing a constitutional insurrection clause.

In a landmark decision, the court ruled 4-3 that Mr Trump is not an eligible candidate.

It is the first time that Section 3 of the US Constitution’s 14th Amendment has been used to disqualify a presidential candidate.

Several attempts to kick Mr Trump off the ballot in other states have failed.

Tuesday’s decision – which has been placed on hold pending appeal until next month – does not apply to states outside Colorado.

The ruling only applies to the state’s primary election on 5 March, when Republican voters will choose their preferred candidate for president, though it could have an effect on the general election in November.

The justices wrote in their ruling: “We do not reach these conclusions lightly. We are mindful of the magnitude and weight of the questions now before us.

“We are likewise mindful of our solemn duty to apply the law, without fear or favor, and without being swayed by public reaction to the decisions that the law mandates we reach.”

The decision reverses an earlier one from a Colorado judge, who ruled that the 14th Amendment’s insurrection ban did not apply to presidents because the section does not explicitly name them.

That same lower court judge also found that Mr Trump had participated in an insurrection in the 2021 US Capitol riot. His supporters stormed Congress on that day while lawmakers were certifying President Joe Biden’s election victory.

The Colorado Supreme Court’s decision does not go into effect until at least 4 January 2024. That is the eve of the deadline for the state to print its presidential primary ballots.

In a statement, Steven Cheung, a spokesman for the Trump campaign, called the ruling “completely flawed” and lambasted the justices, who were all appointed by Democratic governors.

“Democrat Party leaders are in a state of paranoia over the growing, dominant lead President Trump has amassed in the polls,” Mr Cheung said.

“They have lost faith in the failed Biden presidency and are now doing everything they can to stop the American voters from throwing them out of office next November.”

Mr Cheung added that Mr Trump’s legal team would “swiftly file an appeal” to the US Supreme Court, where conservatives hold a 6 to 3 majority.

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