Colorado Supreme Court to Decide if Trump Can Run Again: Insurrection or No Consequences?

The Colorado Supreme Court has stepped into a critical legal battle that could potentially reshape the 2024 presidential race. The court has agreed to hear an appeal concerning former President Donald Trump’s eligibility to run for office under the 14th Amendment, a provision that bars individuals who engaged in insurrection from holding public office. This move comes after a lower court’s landmark ruling that, while recognizing Trump’s involvement in insurrection, stopped short of disqualifying him from future elections.

At the heart of this case lies a contention over Trump’s actions on January 6, 2021. Six Colorado residents, backed by the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), argue that Trump’s incitement of the Capitol attack and his failure to intervene qualify as insurrection. Agreeing with them, Judge Sarah B. Wallace of the state court found Trump had indeed engaged in acts of insurrection but ruled that this did not disqualify him from the ballot, citing a narrow interpretation of the 14th Amendment.

The implications of this case are far-reaching. Colorado may not be a pivotal swing state, but a decision to bar Trump from the ballot could trigger a domino effect, inspiring other states to follow suit. On the flip side, if the court sides with Trump, it would set a precedent that could bolster his 2024 presidential bid, despite the serious allegations of his involvement in an insurrection.

The arguments for disqualifying Trump hinge on a clear reading of the 14th Amendment. The provision explicitly states that no person shall hold office if they have engaged in insurrection after previously swearing an oath to uphold the Constitution. CREW’s appeal argues that the presidency undoubtedly falls under the definition of an “office” in the United States, contrary to Wallace’s ruling.

The broader context of this case is a nation grappling with the aftermath of the Capitol riot and the ongoing struggle to uphold democratic norms. The Colorado Supreme Court’s decision will not only impact the legality of Trump’s potential candidacy but will also signal how American institutions address and rectify acts that threaten the core of the country’s democratic fabric.

Legal experts have praised CREW’s detailed appeal, emphasizing the strength of their constitutional argument. With former conservative federal Judge J. Michael Luttig describing their brief as one of the most compelling he’s encountered, the stage is set for a significant legal showdown.

As the December 6 hearing approaches, all eyes are on the Colorado Supreme Court. Their ruling will not just be a verdict on Trump’s political future but a statement on America’s commitment to holding its leaders accountable, especially when they’re accused of undermining the very democracy they swore to protect.