President Donald Trump speaks at CPAC in Washington
President Donald Trump Photo by: Reuters/Yuri Gripas

The Colorado Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that former President Donald Trump is not eligible to be in the state's presidential primary ballot under the U.S. Constitution's insurrection clause.

It is the first time that section 3 of the 14th Amendment is used to disqualify a presidential candidate, according to The Associated Press.

The 4-3 decision is set to be challenged before the country's Supreme Court, which will have the ultimate word on whether the former President will be able to compete in next year's elections. Trump's attorneys had already anticipated they would appeal any ban.

"Unsurprisingly, the all-Democrat appointed Colorado Supreme Court has ruled against President Trump, supporting a Soros-funded, left-wing group's scheme to interfere in an election on behalf of Crooked Joe Biden by removing President Trump's name from the ballot and eliminating the rights of Colorado voters to vote for the candidate of their choice," reads a statement from Steven Cheung, a Trump campaign spokesman.

"Democrat Party leaders are in a state of paranoia over the growing, dominant lead President Trump has amassed in the polls. They have lost faith in the failed Biden presidency and are now doing everything they can to stop the American voters from throwing them out of office next November. The Colorado Supreme Court issued a completely flawed decision tonight and we will swiftly file an appeal to the United States Supreme Court and a concurrent request for a stay of this deeply undemocratic decision. We have full confidence that the U.S. Supreme Court will quickly rule in our favor and finally put an end to these unAmerican lawsuits," it adds.

The Colorado Supreme Court overturned a ruling from a district court judge who determined that Trump in fact incited an insurrection in the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol, but said he couldn't be barred from competing for the 2024 presidency because it wasn't clear whether Section 3 of the 14th Amendment covered the presidency.

"We do not reach these conclusions lightly," wrote the court's majority. "We are mindful of the magnitude and weight of the questions now before us. We are likewise mindful of our solemn duty to apply the law, without fear or favor, and without being swayed by public reaction to the decisions that the law mandates we reach," it added.

The district court judge concluded Trump had "engaged in insurrection," but upheld the argument that since Section 3 refers to "officers of the United States" who take an oath to "support" the Constitution, it doesn't apply to the president, who is not considered an "officer of the United States" elsewhere in the document and who swears to "preserve, protect and defend" the Constitution.

The state's top court, in contrast, sided with the argument that the language could bar low-level officers but not the highest one in the country.

AP reported that dozens of lawsuits of this kind have been presented across the United States seeking to disqualify Trump, but this is the first motion to be successful.

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