Colorado Judge: Trump Engaged in Insurrection
A Colorado judge has ruled that former President Donald Trump “engaged in an insurrection” on January 6, 2021. However, the judge rejected an attempt to remove him from the state’s 2024 primary ballot, stating that the 14th Amendment’s “insurrectionist ban” does not apply to presidents.
This major decision, issued by Colorado District Judge Sarah Wallace, comes after similar challenges in Minnesota and Michigan also failed to remove Trump from the Republican primary ballots in those states.
Colorado Ruling and Condemnation of Trump’s Conduct
The 102-page ruling in Colorado delivered a scathing condemnation of Trump’s actions, labeling him an insurrectionist who “actively primed the anger of his extremist supporters” and “incited political violence directed at the Capitol.”
Wallace concluded that Trump engaged in insurrection through incitement on that fateful day and that his speech did not have First Amendment protection. She also found that Trump had the specific intent to disrupt the Electoral College certification of President Biden’s electoral victory through unlawful means.
The 14th Amendment and Its Limitations
The 14th Amendment, ratified after the Civil War, prohibits American officials who engage in insurrection from holding future office. However, it does not specify how to enforce this ban and has rarely been applied. The provision explicitly bans insurrectionists from serving as US senators, representatives, and presidential electors, but it does not mention presidents.
Wallace ruled that the provision does not include the office of the presidency, stating, “After considering the arguments on both sides, the Court is persuaded that ‘officers of the United States’ did not include the President of the United States.”
Appeals and Potential Supreme Court Involvement
Legal scholars believe that these cases will likely reach the US Supreme Court in some form. Before that, the challengers in the Colorado lawsuit may file an appeal to the Colorado Supreme Court. This high-profile case has garnered the attention of voters and political organizations as the 2024 primary season approaches.
Trump’s Response and Future Legal Challenges
Trump’s campaign has dismissed these lawsuits as meritless attempts to block him from office. They argue that the allegations are part of an “absurd conspiracy theory” when Trump currently leads the GOP primary and performs well in head-to-head polls against President Joe Biden.
Despite failing to disqualify Trump from the ballot, advocacy groups like Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) view these challenges as significant. CREW plans to file an appeal to the Colorado Supreme Court and praised the ruling that Trump engaged in insurrection.
Ongoing Legal Challenges and Criminal Charges
Besides the disqualification attempts, Trump faces both state and federal criminal charges related to his efforts to overturn the 2020 election. He has pleaded not guilty to these charges.
Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold stated that allowing the judicial system to decide such contentious issues is how the country should work. She emphasized that regardless of whether Trump is on the ballot or not, he poses a danger to American democracy.
Expert Opinions and Appeals Process
Legal experts, such as Derek Muller from Notre Dame Law School, find Wallace’s conclusions about Trump’s role in the insurrection remarkable. They anticipate an important appeal in this case.
In summary, the case against Trump in Colorado focused on his history of inciting political unrest, his public call for supporters to protest in Washington, DC, and his instruction for them to march to the Capitol and “fight like hell.” The challengers argued that these actions constituted engaging in insurrection against the US Constitution.
Read More of this Story at www.cnn.com – 2023-11-18 03:35:00
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