A Colorado judge on Friday permitted former President Donald Trump to remain on the state’s election ballot for next year.
However, the judge, Sarah Wallace, found that Trump “engaged in insurrection” by inciting the attack on the U.S. Capitol by his supporters on January 6, 2021.
The lawsuit, filed by a group of Colorado voters, sought to disqualify him under a seldom-used amendment to the U.S. Constitution that prohibits officials who have engaged in “insurrection” from holding federal office.
Judge Wallace dismissed this argument, stating that as president, he was not “an officer of the United States” that could be disqualified under the amendment.
This decision is seen as a victory for Trump, who is currently battling a series of similar challenges to his candidacy. A spokesperson for Trump, Steven Cheung, described the ruling as “another nail in the coffin of the un-American ballot challenges.”
Despite allowing Donald on the ballot, Judge Wallace concluded that Trump’s “conduct and words were the factual cause of, and a substantial contributing factor” to the Capitol attack. She found that Trump “engaged in an insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021 through incitement.”
The lawsuit was the first of its kind to go to trial and was viewed as a test case for the broader disqualification effort. It was brought by a group of voters with the support of the watchdog organization Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). CREW President Noah Bookbinder said the group would appeal the ruling.
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The ruling applies only to the Republican presidential primary and general election in Colorado.
The state is considered safely Democratic by nonpartisan political forecasters for the general election.
The decision can be appealed to the state’s supreme court and eventually the U.S. Supreme Court, whose 6-3 conservative majority includes three of his appointees.