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Colorado Supreme Court Rules Trump Is Disqualified from Holding Presidency

Caleb Benjamin
Tuesday, December 19, 2023, 6:40 PM

The court ruled former President Donald Trump cannot be listed on the Republican presidential primary ballot in the state.

Published by The Lawfare Institute
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On Dec. 19, the Colorado Supreme Court held that former President Donald Trump is “disqualified from holding the office of President under Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment.” As a result, the court ruled Trump cannot be listed on the Republican presidential primary ballot in the state.   

The ruling partially overturns a Denver District Court decision that found that Trump “engaged in insurrection” but could not be disqualified from primary and general election ballots in Colorado because of questions regarding the language of Section 3, specifically whether the presidency is an “office” of the United States and whether the president is an “officer of the United States.” The state supreme court upheld that Trump engaged in insurrection and determined “Section Three encompasses the office of the Presidency and someone who has taken an oath as President. On this point, the district court committed reversible error.”

The Colorado Supreme Court stayed the ruling until Jan. 4, 2024 (the day before Colorado’s presidential primary ballot must be certified) pending any review by the U.S. Supreme Court. 

You can read the ruling here or below. Find Lawfare’s Trump Section 3 disqualification challenges tracker here.

Caleb Benjamin was Lawfare's fall 2023 editorial intern. He holds a B.A. with high honors in government from Dartmouth College.

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