Both sides appeal ruling that Trump can stay on Colorado ballot despite insurrection finding

Capitol Breach The Road to Riot
(Julio Cortez/AP)
In this Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021 file photo, Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier at the Capitol in Washington. Right-wing extremism has previously mostly played out in isolated pockets of America or in smaller cities. In contrast, the deadly attack by rioters on the U.S. Capitol targeted the very heart of government. It brought together members of disparate groups, creating the opportunity for extremists to establish links with each other.


Updated 9:29 AM MST, November 21, 2023

DENVER (AP) — Both a liberal group that sought to disqualify Donald Trump and the former president himself on Monday night appealed a Colorado judge’s ruling that Trump “engaged in insurrection” on Jan. 6, 2021 but can stay on the state’s ballot.

The appeals were filed with the Colorado Supreme Court. The ruling by District Court Judge Sarah Wallace on Friday — which said Trump is not covered by the constitution’s ban on insurrectionists holding office — was the latest in a series of defeats for the effort to end Trump’s candidacy with Section 3 of the 14th Amendment.

The constitutional provision has only been used a handful of times since the years after the Civil War. It was created to prevent former Confederates from returning to government positions.

The group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, filing on behalf of a group of Republican and unaffiliated Colorado voters, argued that Wallace was wrong in ruling that it’s not clear the provision was intended to apply to presidents. Trump, meanwhile, appealed Wallace’s finding that he did engage in insurrection and questioned whether a state court judge like her, rather than Congress, should settle the issue.

The case will be heard by the seven justices on the state court, all of whom were appointed by Democrats.

Colorado officials have urged a final decision by Jan. 5, 2024, when they must finalize their primary ballot. The next step after Colorado’s high court would be the U.S. Supreme Court, which has never ruled on Section 3.

Trump has slammed the lawsuits as “election interference” by Democratic “dark money” groups.