The group seeking to remove Donald Trump from the Colorado election based on the 14th Amendment’s “insurrectionist ban” has has appealed to the Colorado Supreme Court, hoping to do so overturn a lower court ruling That said, the ban does not apply to presidents.
The appeal was made by Republican and independent voters who filed the lawsuit in coordination with a liberal-leaning watchdog group called Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
Many experts believe the case will somehow reach the U.S. Supreme Court sooner or later.
Sarah Wallace, Colorado District Court Judge issued a stunning 102-page decision Friday, which found Trump “engaged in insurrection” on January 6, 2021, but concluded that the 14th Amendment’s “insurrection ban” does not apply to presidents, based on the text of the amendment, which was ratified in 1868 in the wake of the Civil War.
It says American officials who take an oath to uphold the Constitution are banned from future office if they “engage in insurrection.” The provision explicitly bars insurgents from serving as U.S. senators, representatives, and even presidential electors, but says nothing about the presidency. It says it covers “any office, civil or military, under the United States,” and Wallace ruled that this does not include the office of the presidency.
This key finding is what anti-Trump challengers hope the Colorado Supreme Court will overturn.
“No court should adopt an interpretation of the Constitution that leads to such absurd results,” the challengers wrote in their notice of appeal. “Fortunately, in this case, the text and history are all consistent with the common sense outcome. Section 3 does not disqualify insurrectionists who break their oath of office from all but the highest public office, nor does it grant a one-time pass to insurrectionist presidents.”
All seven Colorado Supreme Court justices were appointed by Democratic governors. Six of the seven subsequently won statewide retention elections to remain on the bench. The seventh was only appointed in 2021 and has not yet faced voters.
Sean Grimsley, a lawyer for the anti-Trump challengers, told CNN’s Erin Burnett on Monday that he was “hopeful” that his appeal will prevail by overturning “the one issue” that the judge “got it wrong” about who makes the ban – and who doesn’t. ‘t – apply to.
“We will pursue our claims in court. I think we presented a very good case, the judge issued a very detailed and thorough opinion – it took until page 95 of a 102 page opinion for him to rule against us on anything, so we will move on. We’ll go to the Colorado Supreme Court and see what happens there.
Elsewhere in the ruling, Wallace expressed strong condemnation of Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election. He concluded that the former president “actively ignited the anger of his extremist supporters” and “acted with the specific intent to inciting political violence and directing it against the Capitol.”
‘Do you really consider this a victory?’: Collins insists on Trump’s lawyer
“It was an outrageous attempt to disenfranchise millions and millions of voters by getting us off the ballot,” Trump said Saturday at a campaign rally in Iowa. “We have now defeated the voter qualification scam of radical Democrats in Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire and other states.”
Even Trump appealed the decisioncontesting several of the judge’s findings, including that he was “involved” in the January 6 insurrection.
Trump’s lawyers say Wallace came to the “correct” conclusion that the ban on insurrectionists does not apply to presidents.
However, they asked the Colorado Supreme Court to overturn her other decisions, arguing that she “committed multiple serious jurisdictional and legal errors…creating new, unprecedented, and unsupported legal standards in the application” of the Constitutional Disqualification Clause.
The lawyers said in a court filing that they want these issues to be corrected now because of the possibility of “further review” of the case, referring to possible appeals to the Supreme Court, which are widely expected.
This story has been updated with further developments.