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Colorado secretary of state discusses ruling barring Trump from ballot

Secretary of State Jena Griswold said she would uphold the Colorado Supreme Court's decision to disqualify Trump from the state primary ballot.
Posted at 9:55 PM, Dec 19, 2023

Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold joined Scripps News Tuesday to speak about Colorado's Supreme Court ruling disqualifying former President Donald Trump from the state's 2024 presidential primary ballot.

The state Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that Trump was ineligible for the state's primary ballot because he violated the U.S. Constitution's insurrection clause. 

Section 3 of the 14th Amendment reads that no person shall be elected president "who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same."

This is the first time in U.S. history that Section 3 of the 14th Amendment has been invoked in a presidential election.

Colorado Supreme Court declares Trump ineligible for presidency
Donald Trump

Colorado Supreme Court declares Trump ineligible for presidency

The ruling is the first time that Section 3 of the 14th Amendment has been successfully used to disqualify a candidate. Legal challenges are expected.


Griswold said she would uphold the Colorado Supreme Court's decision

"I of course will follow whatever court decision is in place, and believe that the court's decision was right," Griswold told Scripps News in an interview. "Donald Trump did incite the insurrection, and I don't think there should be a loophole in the United States Constitution for presidents who engage in rebellion."

"I didn't take any action to get this case moving," Griswold said. "Six Republican and unaffiliated voters filed the case before I took any action as secretary of state, and that's why it's in the court's hands to start with."

On what happens next:

"There is definitely the ability to appeal this case to the United States Supreme Court," Griswold said. "It's very likely that Trump's team does exactly that. Under state law, I certify the ballot on Jan. 5. Of course a court can issue orders, the court could also act very quickly. We'll just stay tuned and hold tight as the court decides how and if they even want to engage in this case."

Did what we saw on Jan. 6 rise to the level of insurrection against the U.S.?

"I believe that Jan. 6 was an insurrection, and I'll go even further in saying that Trump incited it," Griswold said. "Look, the former president not only incited this angry insurrection on the United States Capitol, some of whom were intent on hanging the Vice President of the United States to stop the peaceful transfer of power — he then engaged in months of trying to continue to steal the 2020 presidency from the American people. So the wording of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment is clear: It says that any person that swears to uphold the Constitution, and then engages in insurrection or rebellion, subsequently cannot hold office. The Colorado Supreme Court has acted. Trump is disqualified in the state of Colorado from being in the presidential primary unless and until the United States Supreme Court decides to act otherwise."