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Donald Trump ruled ineligible to run for President in Colorado

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The top court in the U.S. state of Colorado has ruled Donald Trump isn't eligible to run for President in the state in 2024.
Trump indicted again

The U.S. state of Colorado has ruled that Donald Trump is ineligible to run for President again in 2024 because of his involvement in the insurrection on January 6 2021.

This does not rule him out of the presidential race in the U.S. – it just means his name will be removed from Colorado’s election ballot next year.

Trump’s team has confirmed it will escalate the matter to the U.S. Supreme Court.

First, a reminder

Donald Trump (Republican) was U.S. President from 2017 to 2021. Trump was defeated by Joe Biden (Democrat) at the last election.

This year, Trump and Biden have both confirmed they will run again for the presidency at next year’s election.

Before Trump can be confirmed as an official nominee, he needs to be chosen by the Republican Party in a process called the “primaries”.

The insurrection

The 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution forbids anyone who has previously held “civil or military office” and has engaged in “insurrections” (riots) from running for high office.

Trump is accused of engaging in an insurrection on 6 January 2021, when his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol to try stop the certification of Biden’s win at the 2020 election.

The protesters echoed Trump’s false claims the election had been “stolen” and “rigged”.

Colorado

Earlier this year, a group of people – comprising registered Republicans and others – brought a case in a Colorado court arguing Donald Trump could not run for President due to his involvement in the insurrection.

The initial legal challenge was unsuccessful. This decision was appealed, and today the court ruled that Trump is ineligible.

Further legal action on the matter is “stayed” (paused) until 4 January 2024.

Legal questions

There were three main questions that needed to be answered:

  1. Did Donald Trump hold “civil or military office” when he became U.S. President?
  2. Did he engage in the riots during the 6 January 2021 insurrection?
  3. Can courts remove someone from a political ballot?

The lower court said yes to 2 and 3, but no to 1.

However, the state’s highest court – the Supreme Court of Colorado – said yes to all three.

What does this mean?

The decision means Donald Trump’s name cannot be on an election ballot in Colorado next year, for the primaries or for the final election.

The ruling doesn’t apply to other states but it could prompt other states to take similar legal action.

Trump is facing multiple other legal challenges in the lead-up to the 2024 election.

However, Trump’s campaign team has confirmed it will escalate the matter to the highest court in the country, the U.S. Supreme Court.

Supreme Court

Currently, the Supreme Court is split 6-3 between judges appointed by Republican and Democrat Presidents. Trump appointed three of the current judges.

It’s therefore unlikely to uphold the Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling.

Primary race

If the decision is not overturned, it will mean Trump’s name can’t go on the primary ballot in Colorado, which determines how the Republican Party chooses who it wants to nominate for President in 2024.

In most U.S. states, the candidate is chosen by registered members of the party in a state-wide ballot.

Nationally, Trump currently leads the polls to be selected as the Republican candidate in 2024. The first primary contest will be held in the state of Iowa on January 15.

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