The ruling against the former US president by judges in the western state “defies common sense,” his legal team argues
The Republican Party’s presidential frontrunner Donald Trump has asked the US Supreme Court to overturn a decision by judges in Colorado to ban him from the primary ballot in the western state.
In mid-December, Colorado’s Supreme Court declared Trump ineligible to run for re-election and removed him from the ballot for the local presidential primary on March 5 after a lower court in the state found him guilty of inciting insurrection on January 6, 2021.
The Supreme Court judges based their decision on the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution, which says “officers” involved in insurrection shouldn’t be able to seek federal or state office. The amendment was introduced in 1868 and targeted those who fought for the Confederacy during the US Civil War.
In their filing on Wednesday, Trump’s legal team argued that “in our system of ‘government of the people, by the people, [and] for the people,’ Colorado’s ruling is not and cannot be correct.”
If the ban is allowed to stand, it “will mark the first time in the history of the US that the judiciary has prevented voters from casting ballots for the leading major-party presidential candidate,” the filing read.
The lawyers cited a number of reasons why the US Supreme Court should reinstate Trump on the Colorado primary ballot.
“The Constitution’s text and structure make clear that the president is not an ‘officer of the United States,’” they said. The reading by the Colorado Supreme Court, which equates the head of state with low ranking military officers, “defies common sense,” the filing read.
Trump’s legal team claims that the Colorado judges “erred” in their definition of their client’s role in the Capitol riots three years ago. “It was not ‘insurrection’ and President Trump in no way ‘engaged’ in ‘insurrection,’” they said.
The filing also argues that the “question of eligibility” for the presidency should be determined by Congress, not courts in individual states.
According to media reports, the US Supreme Court, which is under mounting pressure to settle the issue of whether Trump can be barred from holding public office, is likely to take up the case. However, it’s unclear how long it would take the judges to come up with a ruling.
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On Tuesday, Trump filed an appeal with Maine’s Superior Court over the decision by Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows to disqualify him from the state’s primary ballot, citing the same incitement of insurrection clause.