Judge keeps Trump on Colorado primary ballot, says insurrection clause doesn’t apply to presidency

A Colorado judge ruled Friday that former President Donald Trump could remain on the state’s primary ballot in a third loss for his opponents that went to court claiming the Constitution forbids him from holding office following the Jan. 6 riot.

Colorado state Judge Sarah Wallace, a Democrat appointee, held in a 102 order that Mr. Trump did incite violence and an insurrection intentionally on Jan. 6 — but she said Section 3 of the 14th Amendment — known as the insurrection clause — did not apply to the office of the presidency, permitting his name to stay on the ballot.

“The Court holds there is scant direct evidence regarding whether the presidency is one of the positions subject to disqualification,” she wrote.

But she said Mr. Trump’s speech on Jan. 6 where he told his supporters — who he knew were angry — to “fight” repeatedly, “incited imminent lawless violence.”

She said his speech fell outside of First Amendment protections.

It’s the third court this month to deliver a win to Mr. Trump, after liberal advocates have sought to keep him off the ballots in 2024.

Earlier this week, a Michigan judge gave the former president a partial win, saying the secretary of state can’t keep his name off the 2024 primary ballot.

The Minnesota Supreme Court also dismissed a case on Nov. 8 in an order, saying it couldn’t prevent the state party from putting his name on their ballot. It left the general election issue to be decided at a later date, noting advocates can renew their challenge.

New Hampshire officials have also moved to keep Mr. Trump on the ballot in that state.

“With this decision, Democrats’ 14th Amendment challenges have now been defeated in Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota and New Hampshire. These cases represent the most cynical and blatant political attempts to interfere with the upcoming presidential election by desperate Democrats who know Crooked Joe Biden is a failed president on the fast track to defeat. The American voter has a Constitutional right to vote for the candidate of their choosing, with President Donald J. Trump leading by massive numbers,” said Steven Cheung, Mr. Trump‘s spokesperson. “This right was correctly preserved in Colorado today and we urge the swift disposal of any and all remaining Democrat ballot challenges.”

Though Mr. Trump is facing several indictments, he has not been charged or convicted of leading an insurrection during the attack on the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters on Jan. 6, 2021.

Those hoping to remove Mr. Trump from state ballots point to Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which reads: “No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”

The provision was written into the 14th Amendment with the Civil War in mind, but the former president’s opponents say it should apply to his attempts to stop certification of President Biden’s victory.

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