Trump Ballot Ban: Colorado GOP Appeals to US Supreme Court

AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

On Wednesday, the Colorado Republican Party filed an appeal to the United States Supreme Court, seeking to have the Colorado Supreme Court's decision barring former President Donald Trump from that state's primary ballot on 14th Amendment grounds overturned.


The Colorado Republican Party on Wednesday appealed that state’s supreme court decision that found former President Donald Trump is ineligible for the presidency, the potential first step to a showdown at the nation’s highest court over the meaning of a 155-year-old constitutional provision that bans from office those who “engaged in insurrection.”

The first impact of the appeal is to extend the stay of the 4-3 ruling from Colorado’s highest court, which put its decision on pause until Jan. 4, the day before the state’s primary ballots are due at the printer, or until an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court is finished. Trump himself has said he still plans to appeal the ruling to the nation’s highest court as well.

The Colorado Republican Party is working with the American Center for Law and Justice on the appeal. Colorado attorneys Jay Sekulow and Jordan Sekulow appear to be the primary authors of the appeal, which states in part:

In our filing today, we make three main arguments:

  1. “The President is not an officer of the United States covered within the disqualification provision of Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment.”
  2. “Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment is not a self-executing authority for state courts and litigants to use as a sword against presidential candidates.”
  3. “The Colorado Supreme Court’s decision violates the Colorado Republican Party’s First Amendment associational right to choose its own political candidates.”


The appeal document may be viewed here.

Colorado is a former swing state that has gone increasingly blue over the last decade or so. The state has not had a Republican Governor since Bill Owens, who served from 1999 to 2007, and both houses of the state legislature are controlled by Democrats. The Colorado Supreme Court justices who authored the opinion barring Trump from that state's primary ballot are all Democrat appointees. While the eastern plains, especially the Fourth District, which encompasses much of northeast Colorado, are reliably Republican, some of the western slope counties are showing a slow turn towards Democrats, as evidenced by conservative firebrand Lauren Boebert's narrow re-election victory in 2022 and her decision to run in 2024 in the Fourth District, seeking to replace retiring Congressman Ken Buck.

The Trump campaign will almost certainly file its own appeal, and the United States Supreme Court is expected to take the case. The Colorado Supreme Court has, in any case, placed a stay on the decision until January 4th, pending a U.S. Supreme Court review. The state's deadline for finalizing primary battles is January 5th.


FLASHBACK: See earlier RedState reporting on this historic case at these links.


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