What's next for Donald Trump as Colorado court disqualifies him for the 2024 ballot?

Sweta Gupta
Sweta GuptaDec 20, 2023 | 12:58

What's next for Donald Trump as Colorado court disqualifies him for the 2024 ballot?

The court voted 4-3, stating that Trump is ineligible due to his involvement in the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021. (Photo Credits: AP)

In a split decision on Tuesday, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that former US President Donald Trump cannot run for the White House in the state's Presidential primary.

Citing the US Constitution's insurrection clause, the court applied Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, marking the first instance in history that this section has been used to prevent a Presidential candidate from running.


The decision, made by justices appointed by Democratic governors, sets the stage for a likely legal battle in the nation's highest court to determine if Trump can remain a front-runner for the GOP nomination.

What happened

  • The Colorado Supreme Court decided that Donald Trump cannot run for president in the state's 2024 election.
  • The court voted 4-3, stating that Trump is ineligible due to his involvement in the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021.
  • Trump's campaign criticized the decision, calling it anti-democratic, and they plan to appeal.
  • This ruling is historic as it uses Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to disqualify a presidential candidate for the first time.
  • The clause invoked bars officials who have engaged in "insurrection or rebellion" from holding office.
  • This decision is likely to be taken to the US Supreme Court for further review.

Previous attempts to remove Trump from the ballot in other states like New Hampshire, Minnesota, and Michigan have not succeeded.

What is Section 3 of the 14th Amendment?

  • Section 3 of the 14th Amendment is a provision in the US Constitution that applies to individuals who have taken an oath to support the Constitution.
  • It specifies that such individuals can be disqualified from holding office if they are found to be "engaged in insurrection or rebellion" against the United States.
  • Additionally, the provision includes disqualification if a person has provided "aid or comfort to the enemies" of the nation.

What next?

  • The recent decision, which states that Donald Trump cannot run for president in Colorado, is temporarily on hold until next month due to an appeal.
  • Importantly, this ruling only affects Colorado and doesn't apply to other states.
  • The decision specifically pertains to the state's primary election scheduled for March 5, where Republican voters will choose their preferred presidential candidate.
  • There is a possibility that the ruling could also impact the general election in Colorado next November.
  • Experts predict that Colorado leans Democratic, indicating that President Joe Biden is likely to win the state regardless of Trump's eligibility.
  • Trump has expressed his intention to appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • The Colorado court has postponed the implementation of its decision until at least January 4, 2024, to allow time for the appeal process.
  • This delay is crucial as Colorado officials need to resolve the matter by January 5, the deadline for printing presidential primary ballots in the state.

"We do not reach these conclusions lightly," wrote the court's majority, reported by AP. "We are mindful of the magnitude and weight of the questions now before us. We are likewise mindful of our solemn duty to apply the law, without fear or favor, and without being swayed by public reaction to the decisions that the law mandates we reach."

Despite losing Colorado by 13% in 2020, Trump's challenge lies in potential similar rulings in crucial states. Ongoing lawsuits across the country, invoking Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, present obstacles to Trump's return to the White House.

In addition to the Colorado ruling, Trump faces legal battles including a civil fraud trial in New York, 91 felony counts across various criminal cases, a classified documents case, accusations of election interference, a hush money scheme indictment, and charges related to overturning the 2020 election in Georgia. These challenges could significantly impact his political trajectory and influence the upcoming elections.

While Republicans criticised the ruling, the controversy surrounding Trump's eligibility continues as the decision remains temporarily on hold, casting uncertainty over his aspirations for a presidential return.

The legal troubles of Donald Trump

Donald Trump is currently facing a civil fraud trial in New York, with the judge already ruling that Trump deceived banks and others by inflating the value of assets.

In addition to the New York case, Trump is dealing with 91 felony counts across criminal cases in Washington, New York, Florida, and Georgia. A conviction could lead to several years in prison.

Classified documents case

  • Trump faces 40 felony charges related to mishandling classified documents at his Florida estate.
  • Charges include hiding records, showing classified information, and illegal possession of a document.
  • The trial is set for May 20, 2024, possibly after the Republican nominee is clear but before the official nomination at the Republican National Convention.

Election interference

  • Trump is indicted on felony charges for attempting to overturn the 2020 election, leading to the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021.
  • The trial is scheduled for March 4, 2024, in federal court in Washington.

Hush money scheme

  • In March, Trump was indicted in New York on state charges related to hush money payments during the 2016 Presidential campaign.
  • He pleaded not guilty to 34 felony counts of falsifying business records.

Georgia case

  • Trump, along with others, is charged with violating Georgia's anti-racketeering law by scheming to overturn the 2020 election.
  • One defendant has pleaded guilty, while the others, including Trump, have pleaded not guilty.
  • Trial dates for some defendants are upcoming, while others are yet to be set.

While campaigning, Mr. Trump's fellow Republicans criticized the ruling. Vivek Ramaswamy even promised to remove his name from the ballot if Trump's candidacy is not restored.

As legal battles unfold, the Colorado ruling adds another layer to Donald Trump's post-presidential challenges. The unprecedented use of the 14th Amendment raises constitutional questions that could impact Trump's political trajectory.

While the decision is temporarily on hold, the controversy surrounding his eligibility continues, casting a shadow over his ambitions for a return to the White House.

Last updated: December 20, 2023 | 12:58
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