Election officials in a potential swing state during next year’s 2024 elections have responded to a request to prevent former President Donald Trump from appearing on the ballot next year.
Officials in Colorado would not commit to keeping Trump on the ballot after being pressured by some groups to remove him, claiming he violated the 14th Amendment over alleged actions during the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot.
“Colorado Secretary of State Jenna Griswold’s office declined to say whether the state’s top election official would grant ballot access to Trump when questioned by reporters in Colorado after a pair of advocacy organizations wrote letters to nine secretaries of state invoking Section 3 of the 14th Amendment,” Newsweek reported.
The section, which was ratified in the aftermath of the Civil War, states anyone who “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” after taking the oath of office is ineligible to run again.
“The evidence is overwhelming that Donald Trump incited and mobilized the insurrection on January 6, 2021, at our nation’s Capitol,” Alexandra Flores-Quilty, campaign director for Free Speech For People (FSFP), one organization behind the letter, noted in a statement Wednesday.
“The U.S. Constitution is clear that anyone who takes an oath of office and then engages in insurrection is forever barred from holding public office again. Election officials must carry out their duty, follow this constitutional mandate, and bar Trump from the ballot,” Flores-Quilty added.
Trump has not been charged with seditious behavior associated with insurrection or rebellion, much less convicted. That said, “efforts by one of Trump’s political rivals to disqualify him on a 14th Amendment basis are pending in federal court,” Newsweek added.
“We are going to officially decline to comment at this time” regarding the effort to remove Trump’s name in Colorado, Annie Orloff, a spokesperson for Griswold’s office, told Colorado Newsline.
Additional states, including California, Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Nevada, have been approached by FSFP and the Mi Familia Vota Education Fund. However, when Newsweek reached out to these states for comment, several of them chose not to provide a response, the outlet reported, adding:
At this point, his eligibility is likely a non-issue. While Colorado has until January 5 to certify participants in its Super Tuesday presidential primaries, political parties themselves typically do not submit their candidates for the primary ballots until December, a spokesperson for the Massachusetts Secretary of State’s Office told Newsweek. Nomination papers for the presidential primary will not be released until September.
Though recent 14th Amendment-based lawsuits have recently been successful—one advocacy group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, in Washington, successfully disqualified a former Republican county commissioner in Otero County, New Mexico, on 14th Amendment grounds in September over his participation in the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol—litigation against Trump has yet to be heard by a judge.
The primary legal challenge seeking to disqualify Trump, filed by Republican presidential candidate John Anthony Castro in Florida, is currently in the process of being appealed. Castro’s standing in the case was disputed by U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, who was appointed by Trump and played a significant role in a federal case concerning classified documents during the former president’s tenure.
The move to bar Trump from the 2024 ballot under the 14th Amendment began in earnest last fall.
“Rep. David Cicilline (a former Trump impeachment manager) is circulating a letter to Dems rounding up support for legislation to bar Trump from office under the 14th Amendment, per copy I obtained,” reporter Nicholas Wu tweeted in November.