Colorado GOP says it asked Supreme Court to keep Trump on ballot


The Colorado Republican Party said it had asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday to hear an appeal of the Colorado Supreme Court's explosive decision ordering the removal of former President Donald J. Trump from the state's primary ballot. The state court ruled that he was ineligible to hold office because he had participated in an insurrection.

The justices are likely to agree to hear the case, given the importance of the issue it presents and the need for a national response.

The filing of the petition requesting review of the state court ruling also had a practical impact, extending a stay issued by the Colorado court while the justices consider the matter. That means Trump will remain on the primary ballot for now.

Trump is expected to file his own petition in the coming days. An attorney for the former president declined to comment and his campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The party's petition said intervention by the U.S. Supreme Court was urgent.

“Unless the Colorado Supreme Court's decision is overturned, any voter will have the power to sue to disqualify any political candidate, in Colorado or any other jurisdiction that follows suit,” the petition said. “Not only will this distort the 2024 presidential election, but thereafter it will also plunge the courts into political controversies over nebulous accusations of insurrection.”

The petition adds that “the catastrophic effects of the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision are already foreshadowed in pending and recently decided cases involving attempts to deny President Trump access to the 2024 ballot.”

The case concerns Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, adopted after the Civil War. It prohibits those who had sworn to support the Constitution from holding office if they had later “participated in an insurrection or rebellion against it, or had given aid or comfort to its enemies.”

Congress can eliminate the ban, the provision says, but only with a two-thirds vote in each chamber.

By a 4-3 vote, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled in December that the provision applied to Trump, making him ineligible for another term.

“We do not reach these conclusions lightly,” the majority wrote. “We are aware of the magnitude and weight of the questions now before us. Likewise, we are aware of our solemn duty to apply the law, without fear or favor, and without being swayed by the public reaction to the decisions that the law requires us to make.

The party's petition raised three main points: that Section 3 does not apply to the presidency, that only Congress can enforce it, and that the state court's decision violated the party's rights under the First Amendment.

“The Republican Party has been irreparably harmed by the following decision,” the petition said. “The state has interfered in the primary elections by unreasonably restricting the party's ability to select its candidates.”

The petition added that the state court's ruling was “based on a subjective claim of insurrection that the state lacks constitutional authority to make.”

In a statement, two of the party's lawyers, Jay Sekulow and Jordan Sekulow, urged the judges to act quickly. “There is an avalanche of similar cases being filed across the country,” they said, “so the Supreme Court's final and prompt review of this matter is essential.”

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