A Colorado judge ruled so Former President Donald Trump participated in insurrection during the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol, but refused to remove his name from the primary ballot. In this case. How is this decision explained?
The lawsuit in question argued that Trump’s actions, related to the attack on the Capitol on the day Joe Biden’s election victory was certified, violated a provision of the Constitution. Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, It prohibits anyone from holding any office who “engages in rebellion or insurrection” against the Constitution.
Here are the basic answers for understanding the ruling, which at first glance seems contradictory.
But what does the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution say?
The Fourteenth Amendment consists of several sections. What has been specifically cited in lawsuits to remove Trump from the ballot is Section 3 which says:
“No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or an Electoral College for President or Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, in the United States or in any State, having previously taken the oath of , as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of the legislature of any State, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, in support of the Constitution of the United States, has engaged in insurrection or insurrection against himself, or has aided or relieved his enemies. But Congress may, by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove this impediment.”
Prosecutors point out that Trump was part of an insurrection against the Constitution, an attack on democracy perpetrated by his followers whose most notable event was the attack on the Capitol.
Did Trump participate in an insurrection? This is what the judge says
The judge argued so Trump “engaged in insurrection” on January 6, 2021.
This point alone would be enough to disqualify Trump from running by applying Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment, but… Why would the judge allow the “rebel” to run?
Why does the judge allow Trump to be on the ballot?
The judge reasoned that she could not force the name to be removed from ballots because it is not clear in the Fourteenth Amendment whether such a bar applies to a presidential candidate.
is that if Section 3 is analyzed, The text is very specific regarding certain positions that a rebel against the Constitution cannot hold: It says “senator,” “representative,” and “voter,” and then generally states “no military or civilian position.” But it doesn’t say “president.”
So the judge makes this point in her decision: it is not clear to her that the article applies to superiors.
That is why it may seem contradictory, but in reality it is not. “Part of the court’s decision is its reluctance to accept an interpretation that would disenfranchise any presidential candidate without a clear and unambiguous indication that this is the intent of Article 3.” The judge wrote.
What is the Trump campaign saying?
Trump’s defense used as a defense that the former president was using freedom of speech, which the First Amendment affirmed. They point out that the then-president did not incite the insurrection and that Section 3 was never intended to apply to presidential candidates.
The lawyers said so It is not permissible to prevent candidacy based on the interpretation of a clause dating back a century and a half.
“The petitioners are asking this court to do something that has never been done before in American history,” Trump attorney Scott Geisler said.
The judge rejected this defense and asserted that the Republican had indeed participated in the rebellion.
What do plaintiffs argue?
They say Article 3, which was used primarily to prevent former Confederates from taking control of the government after the North-South Civil War, prohibits those who took an oath to uphold the Constitution and then rebelled against it from holding office. Unless they are granted pardon by a two-thirds vote of Congress.
Lawyers seeking to remove Trump’s name from the ballot argued that if Section 3 had never before been applied to any presidential candidate in history… That’s because the Republicans’ actions were unprecedented.
Legal historians say Section 3 was neglected after Congress granted amnesty to most former Confederates in 1872.
How will the 14th Amendment cases against Trump proceed?
The group that filed the lawsuit said it will appeal to the Colorado Supreme Court.
“The court determined that Trump engaged in insurrection after a careful and comprehensive review of the evidence,” said attorney Mario Nicolai, who represents the voters who filed the lawsuit. “We are very pleased with this opinion and look forward to addressing the only legal question on appeal, which is whether Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment applies to rebellious presidents.”
The group filed a lawsuit on the same point in Michigan, freedom of expression for people, I filed an appeal this week.
Legal experts point out that the case is likely to eventually reach the Supreme Court, which has never ruled on Article 3.
The assault on the Capitol building, hour by hour: This is how the violent attack occurred on January 6, 2021