DENVER (CN) — Four Republican and two independent voters sued Colorado’s secretary of state in the District Court of Denver County on Wednesday, angling to stop former President Donald Trump’s name from being printed on the primary ballot.
The voters claim Trump's efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election disqualify him from holding office.
“As a longtime Republican who voted for him, I believe Donald Trump disqualified himself from running in 2024 by spreading lies, vilifying election workers, and fomenting an attack on the Capitol,” Republican activist Krista Kafer said in a statement.
“Those who by force and by falsehood subvert democracy are unfit to participate in it. That’s why I am part of this lawsuit to prevent an insurrectionist from appearing on Colorado’s ballot.”
The Fourteenth Amendment bars individuals from holding office if they “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” or have “given aid or comfort to the enemies” of the Constitution while under the oath of office. The measure was adopted following the Civil War and can only be overturned by a two-thirds vote in the U.S. House and Senate.
“By instigating this unprecedented assault on the Americans constitutional order, Trump violated his oath and disqualified himself under the Fourteenth Amendment from holding public office, including the Office of the President,” the petitioners argue in the 105-page lawsuit.
In addition to being impeached by Congress, Trump faces racketeering charges in Georgia and conspiracy charges in Washington. Trump's March indictment in New York on state charges set a new precedent, as did his federal indictment in Miami a short time later, marking the first criminal charges against a sitting or former U.S. president.
The Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection resulted in seven deaths, $2.7 billion in damages and “the most significant breach of the Capitol building since the War of 1812.”
Represented by attorney Mario Nicolais of the Lakewood firm KBN Law, the petitioners are members of political advocacy group Citizens for Responsibility & Ethics in Washington.
The group includes former Colorado House and Senate Majority leader Norma Anderson.
“Spending 19 years as a state legislator and serving in leadership gave me the opportunity to work across the aisle and to always work to protect the freedoms our Constitution has given us as citizens,” Anderson said in a statement. "I am proud to continue that work by bringing this lawsuit and ensuring the eligibility of candidates on Colorado ballots.”
Secretary of State Jena Griswold, a Democrat, did not outright oppose the lawsuit.
“Today a lawsuit was filed to determine whether former President Donald J. Trump is disqualified from the Colorado ballot for inciting the January 6th insurrection and attempting to overturn the 2020 Presidential Election,” Griswold said in a statement.
“I look forward to the Colorado Court’s substantive resolution of the issues, and am hopeful that this case will provide guidance to election officials on Trump’s eligibility as a candidate for office.”
Trump leads primary polls, particularly among right-leaning voters, according to Monmouth University, which found nearly four out of five Republican voters have a favorable view of Trump.
Although a quarter of people polled thought the charges filed against Trump could hinder his ability to defeat President Joe Biden, most voters were unconcerned about the proceedings affecting his ability to run and win.
"Joe Biden, Democrats, and Never Trumpers are scared to death because they see polls showing President Trump winning in the general election," Steven Cheung, Trump's campaign spokesman, told Courthouse News via email. "The people who are pursuing this absurd conspiracy theory and political attack on President Trump are stretching the law beyond recognition much like the political prosecutors in New York, Georgia, and DC."
The Colorado GOP did not immediately respond to press inquiries.
Second Judicial District Judge Mark Bailey, who is overseeing the case, was appointed last year by Democratic Governor Jared Polis.Follow @bright_lamp
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