PROMO 64 - Politician - Donald Trump at the Pentagon 2017 - Public Domain

Trump campaign promises to appeal Colorado Supreme Court primary ballot ban

Donald Trump at the Pentagon 2017 - Public Domain
Eric Galatas

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(Colorado News Connection) The Trump campaign has accused the Colorado Supreme Court of interfering in the 2024 elections after Tuesday's ruling, which held the former president's actions January 6, 2021, leading up to a riot and breach of the U.S. Capitol disqualify him from appearing on the state's primary ballot.

David Becker, executive director of the Center for Election Innovation and Research, said the court did not ask for the case to be brought; it simply ruled based on facts and laws.

"It was unprecedented that we had a president who engaged in the behavior that he did on and before Jan. 6," Becker pointed out. "And that's where all of this is coming from; it comes from his behavior, not from the courts having to address that behavior in some way."

The state high court's decision overturned a lower court ruling which found Trump did engage in insurrection on Jan. 6, attempting to subvert the will of voters. But the court declined to disqualify Trump because a Civil War-era provision in the U.S. Constitution meant to keep confederates from holding office did not specifically prohibit insurrectionists from holding the office of president.

The Trump campaign called the ruling completely flawed, and promised to file an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court. Anticipating an appeal, Colorado justices put a hold on its ruling until Jan. 4, one day before the Colorado Secretary of State must certify primary ballots.

Becker noted as it stands today, the former president can still have his name on the ballot.

"Unless the U.S. Supreme Court declines to review the Colorado Supreme Court case, or rules and upholds the Colorado Supreme Court case, he will remain on the Colorado ballot under the terms of this decision," Becker added.

The 14th Amendment bars people from holding federal office if they took an oath to support the U.S. Constitution and then engaged in insurrection or rebellion. Becker explained the amendment does not stipulate candidates are disqualified from holding office only if they are convicted of insurrection.

"It could have said 'someone convicted of insurrection' could not hold an office of the United States. It doesn't say that, it said 'engaged in insurrection,'" Becker emphasized. "We take the drafters of the Constitution's language at their word."