Updated Jan 18, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Trump urges Supreme Court to rule on Colorado ballot eligibility

Former President Trump speaks on Jan. 17 in New York City. Photo: Alexi J. Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Former President Trump filed a brief with the Supreme Court on Thursday, challenging a decision by Colorado's highest court to remove him from the state's 2024 ballot.

Why it matters: The Colorado ruling was the first to find that the 14th Amendment's insurrection clause applies to Trump in relation to his actions surrounding the Capitol riot, though his lawyers argued in the brief that "he did not 'engage in' anything that qualifies as 'insurrection.'"

Driving the news: Trump's attorneys argue in the filing that he is not subject to Section 3 of the 14th Amendment because the president is not an "officer of the United States."

  • They also stated that Trump did not engage in insurrection and "never participated in or directed any of the illegal conduct that occurred at the Capitol on January 6, 2021."
  • "In fact, the opposite is true, as President Trump repeatedly called for peace, patriotism, and law and order," the brief reads.

Catch up quick: The Colorado Supreme Court ruled last month that Trump can't appear on the state's ballots in the 2024 presidential election.

  • However, the court also issued a stay on its ruling until Jan. 4, 2024 to allow proceedings in other appellate courts to move forward.
  • The Trump campaign filed an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, which agreed to hear the case on Jan. 5.

What they're saying: Trump's team argued in the brief that the court should "put a swift and decisive end" to ballot disqualification efforts, "which threaten to disenfranchise tens of millions of Americans and which promise to unleash chaos and bedlam if other state courts and state officials follow Colorado's lead."

Zoom in: The filing also states that the insurrection clause should only be enforced through "Congress's chosen methods" and that it can't be "used to deny President Trump access to the ballot."

  • Further, it alleges that the Colorado Supreme Court violated the Electors Clause because nothing in the state's Election Code "allows the state judiciary to order the Secretary of State to remove a candidate from the presidential primary ballot."

Of note: Also on Thursday, a group of Republican lawmakers including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), signed onto another Supreme Court brief arguing against the decision by Colorado's highest court.

  • Some of the arguments made by Trump's attorneys mirror the ones made by the GOP Senators.

What's next: Oral arguments in the case are set for Feb 8.

Read the full filing from Trump's legal team below.

Go deeper: 178 Republicans ask Supreme Court to keep Trump on ballot

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