Trial is now approaching before the end of the month in a Colorado lawsuit that seeks to block Donald Trump from appearing on the ballot for the 2024 presidential election. The presiding judge, Sarah Wallace, has rejected another series of claims targeting the foundation of the case.
As has been widely reported and discussed, this case like similar disputes in other states rests upon provisions of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that block certain individuals from holding office if they previously took an oath to defend that guiding document and then engaged in insurrection.
The connection made to Trump is January 6. He’s not been found guilty of any criminal offenses related to that day, but some of those arguing he’s disqualified say such isn’t necessary and that the 14th Amendment’s rules are more on par with basic qualifications for office like age and residency. Even still, federal prosecutors behind the case accusing Trump of attempted election interference in 2020 do insist that their underlying allegations tie the former president to the events of that fateful day in 2021, and a significant number of participants in the January 6 rioting have tied their actions to Trump, though it was already clear how his rhetoric spurred what happened.
Wallace had already rejected claims that the Colorado lawsuit unfairly targeted what was just Trump’s free speech. Now, she’s also rebuffed contentions about whether the Secretary of State specifically holds the 14th Amendment power to block Trump’s or another candidate’s appearance on the next election’s ballots, saying this set of arguments is better left for trial. Responding to arguments from the state GOP in Colorado, the judge also upheld, though, the general idea that state authorities possess the power to decide on who shows up on presidential primary ballots in the state, noting the critical nature of the already fleshed out requirements like age and residency.
“If the Party, without any oversight, can choose its preferred candidate, then it could theoretically nominate anyone regardless of their age, citizenship, residency,” Wallace said, as highlighted by CNN. “Such an interpretation is absurd; the Constitution and its requirements for eligibility are not suggestions, left to the political parties to determine at their sole discretion.”