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Six Colorado Voters, Watchdog Group File Lawsuit to Keep Trump Off the Ballot

Plaintiffs argue Trump's actions on and before Jan. 6, 2021 disqualify him under the Fourteenth Amendment

A group of voters has filed a lawsuit arguing that former President Donald Trump should not appear on the 2024 presidential ballot because of the Fourteenth Amendment.

The lawsuit was filed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics (CREW), a Washington D.C.-based watchdog group. The petitioner and their representatives argue that former President Trump was involved in aiding an insurrection based on his action related to the riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. 

“Donald Trump tried to overthrow the results of the 2020 presidential election,” states the lawsuit filed on Sept. 6. “Before the election, he made plans to cast doubt on and undermine confidence in our nation’s election infrastructure. After the election, he knowingly sought to subvert our Constitution and system of elections through a sustained campaign of lies.”

Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment states:

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. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

CREW has argued Trump “summoned tens of thousands of enraged supporters for a ‘wild’ protest in Washington, D.C.” and that “racism and white supremacy—the same virulent ideologies that led to the Civil War and, in its wake, the Fourteenth Amendment—pervaded Trump’s insurrection and the movement surrounding it.”

The lawsuit further argued that Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold would be in breach of her duties if she permitted Trump’s name to appear on the ballot next year. 

Griswold, a Democrat who took office in 2019, said in a post online that the lawsuit was filed to “determine whether former President Donald J. Trump is disqualified from the Colorado ballot.”

“I look forward to the Colorado Court’s substantive resolution of the issues, and am hopeful that this case will provide guidance to election officials on Trump’s eligibility as a candidate for office,” she wrote on X

At least half of the petitioners have ties to the Republican Party. This includes former Congresswoman Claudine Schneider, who represented a congressional district in Rhode Island from 1981 to 1991 as a registered Republican. Schneider endorsed Barack Obama for president in 2008 as well as Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Joe Biden in 2020. Another plaintiff, Norma Anderson, served as majority leader in the Colorado House and Senate and ultimately left the Republican Party in 2021. A third plaintiff, Krista Kafer, is a conservative columnist for the Denver Post who said she would vote for Trump in 2020, per UPI.

“As a longtime Republican who voted for him, I believe Donald Trump disqualified himself from running in 2024 by spreading lies, vilifying election workers, and fomenting an attack on the Capitol,” said Kafer in a statement published by CREW. “Those who by force and by falsehood subvert democracy are unfit to participate in it. That’s why I am part of this lawsuit to prevent an insurrectionist from appearing on Colorado’s ballot.”

Steve Cheung, a spokesman for Trump’s campaign, said the case centers around an “absurd conspiracy theory” and that the lawsuit is “stretching the law beyond recognition much like the political prosecutors in New York, Georgia and D.C.”

“There is no legal basis for this effort except in the minds of those who are pushing it,” Cheung said in a statement, per the Denver Post.

Trump is currently leading every Republican vying to be their party’s presidential nominee in 2024.

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