Mr. Trump’s lawyers argued that a Colorado law protecting people from prosecution for exercising their free speech rights shielded him from the suit, but Colorado District Judge Sarah Wallace ruled declared that the law did not apply in this case.
That law also conflicts with a state obligation to quickly resolve the question of Trump’s electability — before the Jan. 5 deadline for presidential candidates’ names to be certified for the Colorado primary, a writes Judge Wallace.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington claims in its suit that putting Mr. Trump on the ballot in Colorado would violate a provision of the 14th Amendment that prohibits people who have “engaged in insurrection” against the Constitution from exercise their functions.
The group’s chief counsel, Donald K. Sherman, praised Ms. Wallace’s decision, made Wednesday evening. He called it a “well-reasoned and very detailed order” in a statement Thursday. Geoffrey Blue, a Denver-based lawyer for Mr. Trump, did not immediately respond to a telephone message seeking comment on Thursday.
The Colorado case is one of several cases involving Donald Trump that could test the Civil War-era constitutional amendment, which the U.S. Supreme Court has never ruled on. Along with lawsuits filed in Minnesota and Michigan, this case has a good chance of reaching the nation’s highest court.
The lawsuits also implicate one of Mr. Trump’s arguments in criminal cases filed against him in Washington, D.C., and Georgia for his attempt to overturn his 2020 defeat — that he is penalized for exercising the freedom to expression disagreeing with the validity of the vote count.
The Colorado case will focus in part on the meaning of the term “insurrection” under the 14th Amendment, whether it applies only to war against the United States or whether it applies to incitement by Mr. Trump to a mob that attacked the US Capitol on January 6, 2021 to suspend certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
Mr. Trump’s lawyers dispute that this applies to his attempt to overturn the election results. They also claim that the 14th Amendment requires an act of Congress to be applied and that it does not apply to Mr. Trump anyway.
The trial to determine Mr. Trump’s election eligibility in Colorado is scheduled to begin October 30.
This article is originally published on lapresse.ca