Donald Trump Faces Legal ‘Hurricane’

US

Donald Trump is facing a legal “hurricane” from a Colorado case seeking to block him from the state ballot, a lawyer has said.

A Colorado Supreme Court appeal is underway after a group of voters assisted by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington went to court arguing that the former president should be disqualified from the state’s ballot next year based on the 14th Amendment, which bars public officials from holding federal office if they have engaged in “insurrection.”

Trump denies all wrongdoing and that he engaged in insurrection. His lawyers have argued that courts do not have the authority to bar candidates from the ballot under the constitutional provision. Newsweek emailed his representatives for comment.

On November 17, a judge in a lower court, Sarah Wallace found that, as president, Trump was not “an officer of the United States” as defined by the 14th Amendment and could therefore not be disqualified. However, the judge concluded Trump’s “conduct and words were the factual cause of and a substantial contributing factor” to the Capitol riots in which Trump supporters stormed the government building. Wallace found that Trump “engaged in an insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021 through incitement.”

Former President Donald Trump on November 18, 2023, in Fort Dodge, Iowa. The former president’s 14th Amendment case in Colorado could have wide-ranging political and legal consequences, a lawyer has said.
Photo by Jim Vondruska/Getty Images

In the Colorado Supreme Court, the former president is appealing the decision that he engaged in insurrection over his role in the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. His opponents, meanwhile, are appealing Wallace’s decision to keep Trump on the Colorado ballot for the 2024 presidential election.

Posting on X, formerly Twitter, Harry Litman, Clinton appointee and former U.S. attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, said if the Colorado Supreme Court upholds the decision, it will create a situation “about as hard to predict as a hurricane.”

He said: “Not to get ahead of things too much, but if the Colorado Supreme Court holds, under state law, that Trump is disqualified, we are in serious terra incognita, about as hard to predict as a hurricane. I mean legally, in addition to politically.”

The case comes after a similar effort to block Trump in Minnesota failed in November. The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled there is currently no state law that prohibits a political party from placing a name on the ballot for “a candidate who is ineligible to hold office.”

In Michigan, meanwhile, Judge James Redford denied a similar request to keep Trump off the Michigan 2024 presidential primary ballot in November, saying it was a “political question” and not a question to be decided by the courts.

The Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling can be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

At the time of Judge Wallace’s ruling, Trump spokesman Steven Cheung said that the ruling was “another nail in the coffin of the un-American ballot challenges.”

Cheung said: “The American voter has a constitutional right to vote for the candidate of their choosing, with President Donald J. Trump leading by massive numbers. This right was correctly preserved in Colorado today and we urge the swift disposal of any and all remaining Democrat ballot challenges.”