Trump asks US Supreme Court to overturn Colorado ballot ban

Congressional authority

The appeal said the Colorado Supreme Court made a series of errors in its interpretation of Section 3. Trump contended the president is not an “officer of the United States” subject to the insurrection clause. And he said the entire issue is an issue that Congress, not the courts, should resolve.

“By considering the question of President Trump’s eligibility and barring him from the ballot, the Colorado Supreme Court arrogated Congress’ authority,” he argued.

Trump’s filing follows a similar appeal filed Dec 27 by the Colorado Republican Party. Trump on Jan 3 pointed to the party’s contention that the insurrection clause isn’t “self-executing” – that is, that it can be enforced only after Congress sets up procedures for determining whether someone violated the provision. 

Trump also faulted the Colorado courts, which held a five-day trial, for what he said was a “rushed” process. 

The voters suing Trump and the Colorado secretary of state have both urged the court to take up the case.

In its 4-3 decision, the Colorado Supreme Court said Trump engaged in “overt, voluntary and direct participation” in an insurrection that culminated with the Capitol riot.

The majority pointed to Trump’s unsupported claims over the course of weeks that the election was stolen, his fiery Jan 6 speech to a crowd that included armed people and his demands, even after rioters were storming the Capitol, that Vice-President Mike Pence refuse to certify the results.

“President Trump fully intended to – and did – aid or further the insurrectionists’ common unlawful purpose of preventing the peaceful transfer of power in this country,” the Colorado court said. The seven-justice court is composed entirely of Democratic appointees.

Political fight

Trump and his allies have argued the efforts to ban him from state ballots is driven by politics.

“Democrats are obsessively violating the American voters’ constitutional right to vote for the candidate of their choice,” Trump spokesman Steven Cheung said in a statement. “This is an unAmerican, unconstitutional act of election interference which cannot stand.”

The Colorado ruling won’t take effect until the nation’s highest court resolves the matter one way or another. The state court directed Colorado’s secretary of state to keep Trump’s name on the presidential primary ballot in the meantime.

On Jan 2, Trump filed a lawsuit seeking to restore his name to Maine’s presidential primary ballot after the secretary of state disqualified him under the 14th Amendment’s insurrection clause. 

In addition to the Colorado case, the Supreme Court may have to resolve aspects of the four pending criminal cases against Trump. The court on Dec 22 declined to immediately consider whether he is immune from charges stemming from his effort to reverse his defeat at the polls. BLOOMBERG

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