It has come to light that a liberal group on Wednesday filed a lawsuit to bar former President Donald Trump from the primary ballot in Colorado, arguing he is ineligible to run for the White House again under a rarely used clause in the U.S. Constitution aimed at candidates who have supported an “insurrection” via AP News.
The lawsuit noted the 14th Amendment is likely the initial step in a legal challenge that seems destined for the U.S. Supreme Court. The complaint was filed on behalf of six Republican and unaffiliated Colorado voters by the group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
It will jolt an already unsettled 2024 primary campaign that features the leading Republican candidate facing four separate criminal cases.
Liberal groups have demanded that states’ top election officials bar Trump under the clause that prohibits those who “engaged in an insurrection or rebellion” against the Constitution from holding higher office. None has taken that step, looking for guidance from the courts on how to interpret a clause that has only been used a handful of times since the 1860s.
It has been noted that while a few fringe figures have filed thinly written lawsuits in a few states citing the clause, the litigation Wednesday was the first by an organization with significant legal resources. It might lead to similar challenges in other states, holding out the potential for conflicting rulings that would require the Supreme Court to settle.
Colorado’s secretary of state, Democrat Jena Griswold, said in a statement that she hoped “this case will provide guidance to election officials on Trump’s eligibility as a candidate for office.”
The lawsuit contends the case is clear, given the attempt by then-President Trump to overturn his 2020 election loss to Democrat Joe Biden and his support for the assault of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. The Republican has said he did nothing wrong in his actions.