Arguments begin in suit to block Trump from 2024 ballot in Colorado

October 30, 2023

Arguments were to begin Monday in a lawsuit in Colorado aiming to keep former President Trump off the 2024 ballot under the “insurrection” clause of the Constitution. 

Colorado’s hearing is the first of two states’ lawsuits this week. Oral arguments begin Thursday before Minnesota’s state Supreme Court, though altogether similar suits have been filed in six states, and the question may ultimately be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The lawsuits are based on a provision in the 14th Amendment that says any American official who has taken an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution is disqualified from holding office if they engaged in “insurrection or rebellion” or they’ve “given aid or comfort” to anyone else who has.

Trump has said numerous times that if he wins reelection, he would pardon those convicted of crimes linked to the deadly January 6, 2021 insurrection on the U.S. Capitol while attempting to overturn President Biden’s 2020 electoral college victory.

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA), reported to be one of the last lawmakers to leave the House floor during the January 6 attack, is scheduled to testify for the plaintiffs in the Colorado lawsuit, an attorney for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), which brought the case, said Monday.

The issue of the 14th amendment surrounding Trump’s elegibility for office entered the national debate in earnest in August after two renowned legal scholars on opposite sides of the political spectrum raised the Constitutional argument: liberal Harvard Law professor emeritus Laurence Tribe and conservative retired federal judge Michael Luttig.

Luttig, who lives in Colorado, has noted that the 14th Amendment’s section 3 “functions as a sort of constitutional immune system” meant to “keep those who have fundamentally betrayed the constitutional order from keeping or resuming power.”

Trump is the GOP frontrunner in his party’s Presidential primary race with a more-than 30-point lead, according to’s polling average. He has denied any wrongdoing, describing calls to invoke the 14th Amendment a “trick” to keep him from winning in 2024.

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