A Colorado judge rejected the latest attempt by former President Trump to throw out a lawsuit seeking to keep him off the ballot in 2024 by invoking the 14th Amendment.
In her 24-page ruling, Colorado District Judge Sarah Wallace rejected Trump’s argument that matters of ballot eligibility are limited to Congress, not the courts. Wallace also opposed Trump’s argument that state election officials cannot invoke Section 3 of the 14th Amendment.
“The Court holds that states can, and have, applied Section 3 pursuant to state statues without federal enforcement legislation,” Wallace wrote.
Wallace’s ruling comes just days before the trial is slated to start Oct. 30.
The suit was filed last month by the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) on behalf of six Republican and unaffiliated voters in Colorado that include former federal, state and local officials. It is part of a wider argument by some legal scholars and lawmakers that Trump is disqualified from the ballot under the 14th Amendment for his alleged actions related to the Jan. 6, 2021, attacks on the Capitol.
The group alleges Trump violated the oath of office by “recruiting, inciting and encouraging a violent mob that attacked the Capitol on January 6, 2021 in a futile attempt to remain in office.”
Section 3 of the 14 Amendment, which is cited in the lawsuit, states that no person shall hold elected office who “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the United States.”
Earlier this month, Wallace rejected a separate attempt by Trump’s legal team to dismiss the case, ruling that his objections on free-speech grounds did not apply.
Trump’s actions leading up to and on Jan. 6, when a mob of his supporters stormed the Capitol in an effort to stop Congress from affirming President Biden’s victory, was referred to the Justice Department by a select House panel late last year. The committee’s investigation spanned months and included witness testimony from dozens of Trump White House officials at the time.
Trump was later indicted by the Justice Department and in Georgia for his and his allies’ efforts to overturn the 2020 election results and remain in power.