A Colorado judge rejected an effort Friday to remove former President Donald Trump from the state’s 2024 election ballot.
Judge Sarah Wallace held in her 102-page ruling Friday that Trump is not an “officer of the United States” disqualified from holding office under section three of the 14th Amendment, ordering Colorado’s secretary of state to place Trump on the primary ballot. However, Wallace did find that Trump “engaged in an insurrection on January 6, 2021 through incitement” and that the First Amendment does not protect his speech.
“While the Court agrees that there are persuasive arguments on both sides, the Court holds that the absence of the President from the list of positions to which the Amendment applies combined with the fact that Section Three specifies that the disqualifying oath is one to ‘support’ the Constitution whereas the Presidential oath is to ‘preserve, protect and defend’ the Constitution, it appears to the Court that for whatever reason the drafters of Section Three did not intend to include a person who had only taken the Presidential Oath,” Wallace wrote.
Wallace wrote that she is reluctant to embrace an interpretation that “would disqualify a presidential candidate without a clear, unmistakable indication that such is the intent of Section Three.”
The left-wing donor backed group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a lawsuit in October seeking to remove Trump from the ballot under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which disqualifies “officers of the United States” who took an oath to the Constitution and then engaged in “insurrection” from holding office.
During a ten-day trial to consider the challenge that started in October, 70 witnesses testified under oath, according to the ruling.
Katelynn Richardson on November 17, 2023