Colorado GOP appeals Trump ballot case to U.S. Supreme Court

(Xinhua) 15:09, December 28, 2023

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 27 (Xinhua) -- The Colorado Republican State Central Committee appealed a case to the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday, seeking to overturn a ruling from the Colorado Supreme Court nine days ago that prevented Donald Trump from appearing on the state's primary ballot in the 2024 presidential election.

According to the 45-page petition for certiorari filed with the U.S. Supreme Court, the Colorado Republican Party contested the Colorado Supreme Court's ruling, which declared the former U.S. president ineligible for the presidency, on three grounds.

"The President is not an officer of the United States covered within the disqualification provision of Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment," which is "not a self-executing authority for state courts and litigants to use as a sword against presidential candidates," the document argued.

Moreover, "the Colorado Supreme Court's decision violates the Colorado Republican Party's First Amendment associational right to choose its own political candidates," it read.

Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment, cited by the Colorado Supreme Court in Trump's case, serves to disqualify anyone who has previously taken an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution but has "engaged in insurrection or rebellion" against it from holding federal office. However, this disqualification can be removed by a two-thirds vote in both the House and the Senate.

The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), a driving organization behind Wednesday's appeal, issued a statement later, referring to Colorado Supreme Court's order on Dec. 19 as a "dangerously flawed twisting of the 14th Amendment to ban President Trump from the ballot."

"This is so much more than one primary in one state -- this is the greatest election interference case in U.S. history and represents a grave attack on millions of Americans' fundamental right to vote," the statement said.

By filing the appeal on Wednesday, it extends the stay of the 4-3 ruling from Colorado's highest court. This puts the decision on pause until Jan. 4, 2024, the day before the state's primary ballots are due at the printer, or until an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court is concluded.

The ACLJ said even though the move will automatically keep Trump on the ballot until the U.S. Supreme Court takes action, the petitioner still wanted the U.S. Supreme Court to swiftly grant and resolve this case since "there is an avalanche of similar cases being filed around the country, so the Supreme Court's definitive and prompt review in this matter is essential."

Earlier on Wednesday, the Michigan Supreme Court rejected an attempt to remove Trump from the primary ballot for alleged involvement in the Jan. 6 insurrection in 2021.

Besides Michigan, similar challenges against Trump filed in multiple U.S. states have already been dismissed. The Colorado Supreme Court's decision was the first in which a state court banned a presidential candidate from appearing on the ballot.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Wu Chaolan)


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