After the Colorado Republican State Central Committee appealed the disqualification of former President Donald J. Trump from the Colorado primary ballot, the former president is back on the ballot, marking a significant victory for the Trump camp and his supporters nationwide.
The legal maneuver challenged the earlier ruling that had disqualified Trump from the ballot, citing constitutional grounds. The Colorado Secretary of State stated in a press release today that Trump would be included on ballots for primary voters.
Central to the Committee’s argument was the assertion that the disqualification of Trump violated the First Amendment Right of Association. They contended that preventing the Republican Party from choosing its candidate infringed upon their constitutional rights.
Additionally, the petition raised questions about the application of Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment, particularly whether it allows states to unilaterally remove candidates from ballots without Congressional action.
“By excluding President Trump from the ballot, the Colorado Supreme Court engaged in an unprecedented disregard for the First Amendment right of political parties to select the candidates of their choice and a usurpation of the rights of the people to choose their elected officials,” lawyers representing the Colorado GOP wrote.
The case has sparked a national debate on the eligibility of presidential candidates, with Trump’s situation being at the forefront. The Colorado Supreme Court’s decision raised concerns across the political spectrum, leading to the challenge.
“Rejecting a long history of precedent, a state Supreme Court has now concluded that individual litigants, state courts, and secretaries of state in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia have authority to enforce Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment,” the GOP wrote.
The Colorado Supreme Court had earlier ruled against Trump’s eligibility, citing the Fourteenth Amendment’s insurrectionist ban. The appeal has led to an indefinite extension of the state court’s pause on the ruling, initially set to expire on January 4.
BREAKING: Donald Trump is back on the Colorado ballot after the Colorado Republican Party filed an appeal.
Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold is clearly upset about the development as she is calling on the Supreme Court to affirm the original ruling.
"Donald Trump… pic.twitter.com/BVFj83D2LX
— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) December 28, 2023
Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold announced that Trump would be included on the primary ballot by the January 5 certification deadline, unless the U.S. Supreme Court upholds the lower court’s ruling or declines to take up the case.
“The Colorado Supreme Court got it right. This decision is now being appealed,” she said. “I urge the U.S. Supreme Court to act quickly given the upcoming presidential primary election.”
The situation presents a unique constitutional dilemma. The Colorado GOP argues that the state Supreme Court’s decision infringes upon the First Amendment rights of political parties to select their candidates. Additionally, they contend that the insurrectionist ban, as applied to presidents, is a misinterpretation of the Constitution, a matter only Congress can enforce.
The contrasting rulings in Colorado and Michigan, where Trump remains on the ballot, have shown the national implications of the case. The U.S. Supreme Court’s involvement is now crucial in setting a legal precedent that could affect Trump’s candidacy across the country.
With critical deadlines approaching, including the mailing of ballots to military voters by January 20 and the commencement of primary voting on February 26, the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision will have a huge impact. Trump’s reinstatement on Colorado’s primary ballot, pending the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision, however, marks a pivotal moment in the 2024 election cycle.