A group of Colorado voters filed suit Wednesday to keep former President Donald Trump off the state’s ballot in 2024.
The ballot-qualification suit names the Republican front-runner and Colorado Secretary of State Jenna Griswold as defendants. The lawsuit cites Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, the Civil War-era federal constitutional amendment which bars people from holding office if they have “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” against the country. It cites events on and around the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.
“(Trump) knowingly sought to subvert our Constitution and system of elections through a sustained campaign of lies,” the lawsuit states. “His efforts culminated on January 6, 2021, when he incited, exacerbated, and otherwise engaged in a violent insurrection at the United States Capitol by a mob who believed they were following his orders, and refused to protect the Capitol or call off the mob for nearly three hours as the attack unfolded.”
The lawsuit was filed in Denver District Court. The petitioners include three Republicans: former Rhode Island Congresswoman Claudine Cmarada, who now lives in Colorado; Norma Anderson, a former Colorado state representative and Senate majority leader; and Denver Post columnist Krista Kafer.
Also among the petitioners are two unaffiliated Colorado voters. No Democrats were listed on the suit.
Plaintiff’s attorney Mario Nicolais said the complaint faces an inherent timeline crunch — Colorado’s presidential primary ballots need to be certified in January. If the Denver court decides his clients’ way, he assumes the ruling will face appeals, possibly all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
“It’s our position that this is a rule of law case, not a partisan case,” said Nicolais, who previously ran for office as a Republican. “That’s why we filed it. No one is above the law, including former President Trump. In this case, the Constitution is very clear.”
Trump’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment. He faces a myriad of criminal and civil cases, including around the 2020 presidential election.
Griswold, a Democrat, said in a statement: “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.”
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