Spectacular ruling: Colorado Supreme Court excludes Donald Trump from presidential primaries

The Colorado Supreme Court has Donald Trump over his role excluded from the presidential primaries in the storming of the Capitol on January 6, 2021 – a decision with potentially huge explosive power. But the last word has not yet been spoken.

It is a ruling with potentially enormous consequences: According to the Colorado Supreme Court, former US President Donald Trump must be barred from running for the White House in the state. The Republican’s behavior in connection with the storming of the US Capitol on January 6, 2021 disqualified himself from the office of president, according to the court’s decision published on Tuesday evening (local time). This means that his name should not appear on the ballot papers for his party’s primaries.

A spokesman for Trump announced that he would immediately appeal and called the decision “deeply undemocratic.” It can be assumed that the question will ultimately have to be clarified by the country’s highest court. If the Supreme Court accepts the case, the further development of the 2024 presidential election will be in its hands.

The background to the ruling is that various plaintiffs in various US states are trying to remove Trump’s name from ballot papers for the 2024 presidential election. His opponents argue with a constitutional amendment that excludes people from elections who have incited an “insurrection” against the constitution. The 77-year-old wants to move into the White House again for the Republicans. He leads by far in internal party polls. So far everything points to a new edition of the election campaign between Trump and incumbent President Joe Biden.

Remove Donald Trump from the ballot? Clarification by US Supreme Court likely

The so-called prohibition of insurrection in the 14th Amendment states that no one may hold a higher office in the state who has previously taken part in an insurrection against the state as a public official. Although some examples of such higher offices are given in the passage, the office of president is not explicitly mentioned. The Colorado Supreme Court now considered, among other things, the question of whether the clause also applies to the office of president – and concluded that it did.

However, the court suspended its decision until shortly before the ballots were printed in early January or until possible clarification by the Supreme Court. Trump supporters stormed the parliament building in Washington on January 6, 2021. Congress met there to formally confirm Democrat Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election. Trump had previously incited his supporters during a speech. As a result of the riots, five people died.

Plaintiffs in other states failed

A spokesman for Trump emphasized that the Colorado Supreme Court had made “a completely wrong decision.” There is full confidence that the country’s highest court, the Supreme Court, will quickly rule in Trump’s favor and finally put an end to “these un-American lawsuits,” said a statement from Trump’s spokesman Steven Cheung.

In states like Michigan and Minnesota, plaintiffs have already failed in their actions against Trump – but appeals are ongoing. In Colorado, too, the Republican was initially able to record a victory in a lower court. The lower court judge had decided – unlike the state Supreme Court – that the ban on insurrection enshrined in the 14th Amendment explicitly did not refer to the office of president because of the vague legal text. From this she concluded that Trump should be allowed to remain on the ballot for the Republican primary in Colorado.

However, the judge wrote back then: “The Court concludes that Trump acted with the specific intent to incite political violence and direct it against the Capitol in order to disrupt the certification of the election results.”

Colorado Supreme Court: Aware of the implications

The Colorado Supreme Court agreed with the judge’s assessment. All seven judges there were nominated by Democrats. The verdict, decided by four votes to three, states that after examining the facts, it also comes to the conclusion that Trump intended to incite violence and riots with his speech on January 6th in order to prevent a peaceful transfer of power.

The court was also aware of the significance of the decision – and did not reach its conclusions lightly. It was also aware of its duty to apply the law without being influenced by the public reaction to the decision. The state’s chief election supervisor said she would comply with the court’s ruling.

All eyes on Washington

It is now unclear whether the US Supreme Court will accept the case. However, it is considered likely – since a question of constitutional importance needs to be clarified here. During his term in office, Trump shifted the majority on the court significantly to the right: to six of the nine seats. Nevertheless, the Supreme Court did not always decide in his favor – for example on the question of the release of his tax documents.

Another Trump case with major consequences is currently before the judges in Washington. Trump has been charged with attempted election fraud in the US capital in connection with the storming of the Capitol. Prosecutors have asked the Supreme Court to clarify whether Trump can be prosecuted for actions in office. The court’s answer stands or falls in this important case against Trump.