Former President Donald Trump is disqualified from holding public office and his name should be struck off the ballot in the 2024 Republican primary, a lawsuit filed Wednesday in a Colorado district court argues.
The dress, presented by the liberal nonprofit group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, cites the “Disqualification Clause” of the 14th Amendment, which bars anyone who has “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” against the Constitution from holding federal or state office, as the basis for the 77-year-old White House ineligibility.
“If the very fabric of our democracy is to be maintained, we must ensure that the Constitution is applied and that the same people who attacked our democratic system are not put in charge,” said the president of CREW, Noah Bookbinder. he said in a statement.
“We are not bringing this case to clear it up, we are doing it because it is necessary to defend our republic both today and in the future.”
The complaint was filed on behalf of six Colorado Republican and unaffiliated voters represented by CREW and two other law firms and specifically seeks to bar Trump from Colorado’s 2024 primary ballot for his alleged role in “recruiting, inciting and encourage”. a violent mob that attacked the Capitol on January 6, 2021 in a futile attempt to remain in office”, according to the group.
CREW notes that it also intends to challenge the former commander-in-chief’s access to the ballot in other states.
“Based on its laws, timing and our brave set of plaintiffs and witnesses, Colorado is a good place to file this first case, but it won’t be the last,” the organization said.
The little-used disqualification clause was included in the post-Civil War 14th Amendment as a means of preventing former Confederate officials from becoming elected officials and taking over state and federal governments.
Efforts by the liberal nonprofit Free Speech For People to use the 14th Amendment to prevent Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and former Congresswoman Madison Cawthorn (RN.C.) to appear on the ballot for the 2022 midterm elections failed last year.
However, CREW successfully sued to remove Cowboys for Trump founder Couy Griffin from the Otero County Commission in New Mexico after he was convicted of trespassing to enter the Capitol during the riot on January 6, 2021. The group says its case against Griffin is the only successful disqualification clause it has brought since 1869.
“While it is unprecedented to bring this type of case against a former president, Jan. 6 was an unprecedented attack that is exactly the type of event that the framers of the 14th Amendment wanted to create protections for,” he argue Bookbinder.
“You don’t break the glass unless there’s an emergency.”
Some legal experts don’t think a 14th Amendment case against Trump, the 2024 GOP front-runner, would hold up in court.
“The amendment was written to deal with those who participate in an actual rebellion that caused hundreds of thousands of deaths,” George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley. he said earlier this month.
“Defenders would expand the reference to ‘insurrection or rebellion’ to include unsupported claims and challenges involving election fraud.”
Turley added that he finds the disqualification clause theory “not just dubious but dangerous.”
“According to these advocates, Trump can be barred from the ballot without any charge, much less a conviction, of insurrection or rebellion,” he argued.