WASHINGTON — A Colorado district judge ruled Donald Trump is eligible to be on the state’s 2024 presidential primary ballot, rejecting claims the former United States (US) president should be barred under a constitutional amendment that disqualifies candidates who’ve engaged in “insurrection or rebellion” against the US.
These three high-profile challenges against Trump, which had the backing of well-funded advocacy groups, have so far failed to remove him from a single ballot, with the 2024 primary season fast approaching.
Wallace cited “competing interpretations” of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment and a “lack of definitive guidance in the text or historical sources” to determine how it applies to Trump.
“As a result, the court holds that Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment does not apply to Trump,” the judge wrote.
She ordered the secretary of state to place Trump on the presidential primary ballot when it is certified on 5 January, 2024, reported United Press International (UPI).
Six Republican and unaffiliated voters in Colorado, represented by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, filed the lawsuit in September, saying Trump’s actions during the 6 January insurrection invoked the ban.
Section 3 of the 14th Amendment states the following:
“No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.”
The provision explicitly bans insurrectionists from serving as US senators, representatives, and even presidential electors – but it does not say anything about presidents.
In her judgment, Wallace ruled that this does not include the office of the presidency.
“After considering the arguments on both sides, the Court is persuaded that ‘officers of the United States,’ did not include the President of the United States,” she wrote. “It appears to the Court that for whatever reason the drafters of Section Three did not intend to include a person who had only taken the Presidential Oath.” — Malaysiaxpress