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Six voters in Colorado filed a lawsuit Wednesday seeking to remove former President Donald Trump from the state’s 2024 ballot, over his alleged role in the January 6th 2021 riot at the US Capitol.
The suit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court in Denver, claims that Trump should be disqualified from running in future elections under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment of the Constitution, which states that no person shall hold any office if they “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” after having taken an oath to support the Constitution.
The group is calling for the court to remove Trump from the 2024 ballot and declare that it would be “improper” and “a breach or neglect of duty” for Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold, a Democrat, to allow his name to appear on any future primary or general election ballots.
“Trump tried to overthrow the results of the 2020 election, leading to a violent insurrection at the United States Capitol to stop the lawful transfer of power to his successor,” the plaintiffs wrote in their legal complaint in Colorado state court.
“President Trump was the mob’s leader, and the mob was his weapon. The mob traveled from throughout the country to Washington because the President summoned them there,” the lawsuit argued. “He instructed the mob to march on the Capitol and they complied. Many in the mob left the Capitol grounds only when, after hours of violence against police officers and interference with Congress’s constitutionally-mandated duties, Trump belatedly told them to leave.”
The lawsuit was filed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) and several law firms filed the lawsuit on behalf of the six voters — four Republicans and two unaffiliated.
“The petitioners include former Rep. Claudine Schneider, a registered Republican who represented a congressional district in Rhode Island from 1981 to 1991, and endorsed Barack Obama for president in 2008, Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Joe Biden in 2020; Norma Anderson, who served as majority leader in the Colorado House and Senate; and Krista Kafer, a conservative columnist for the Denver Post, who said she would vote for Trump in 2020. Anderson left the Republican Party in 2021, but CREW confirmed to NBC News that she rejoined the GOP a year later”, Yahoo News has reported.
“If the very fabric of our democracy is to hold, we must ensure that the Constitution is enforced and the same people who attacked our democratic system not be put in charge of it,” said Noah Bookbinder, the president of the watchdog group CREW, the organization behind the suit.
Griswold didn’t give any hint on which was she was leaning but said that she “look(s) forward to the Colorado Court’s substantive resolution of the issues, and am hopeful that this case will provide guidance to election officials on Trump’s eligibility as a candidate for office.”
Lawyers aren’t so sure that the 14th amendment could be used today to remove Trump from the ballot. The amendment was ratified in 1866 and was intented to prevent leaders of the Confederacy from running for public office after the war.
Some, including American Lawyer and former law professor known for his work in U.S. constitutional law, as well as defending both Bill Clinton and Donald Trump during their impeachment hearings, Alan Dershowitz, have said that the Consitution “simply doesn’t permit” Trump being removed from the ballot. Dershowitz said that if the Constitution did permit a Secretary of State to remove a candidate, that means that they could just start removing candidates that they don’t like, and that attempting to remove Trump from the ballot would cause a “constitutional crisis”.
Former Judge and Fox News Legal contributor, Andrew Napolitano has also slammed talk of using the 14th amendment to remove Trump from the ballot and said that “this is a very dangerous area” and claimed that allegations can not be used to remove someone from the ballot, who hasn’t even been covicted of a crime yet.