Trump returns to Colorado ballot after GOP appeal to U.S. Supreme Court

(The Center Square) – The Colorado Republican Party is appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court in a case where the state Supreme Court ruled to remove Donald Trump from the 2024 Republican presidential primary ballot.

The appeal automatically places the former president on the March 5, 2024, primary ballot when certification takes place on Jan. 5, 2024, due to a stipulation in the Colorado Supreme Court ruling, according to a news release from Democratic Secretary of State Jena Griswold. However, if the U.S. Supreme Court declines to hear the case or if it affirms the Colorado Supreme Court, Trump would not appear on the ballot.

In a 4-3 decision on Dec. 19, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled Trump should be “disqualified from holding the office of President under Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.” In the 213-page document that included dissents from justices, the court stayed the ruling until Jan. 4 and kept the stay in place in the event of an appeal.

The American Center for Law and Justice announced it filed a petition for certiorari on behalf of the Colorado GOP on Wednesday.

The 45-page petition argues the president is not covered in Section Three of the 14th Amendment, and that the state Supreme Court’s decision violates the party’s First Amendment right to association. The petition also notes eight cases recently decided or pending to remove Trump from the 2024 primary ballots.

“Most courts have rejected these lawsuits on jurisdictional grounds, but the Colorado Supreme Court has followed its own path and split from the others, warranting this Court’s review,” the petition states.

In a footnote to the statement about the Colorado Supreme Court, the petition states the “drastic effects” of the ruling “necessitate this Court’s immediate review.”

“The prompt hearing of this case is necessary to prevent the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision from having an irreparable effect on the electoral process,” the petition states. “Petitioner is prepared to abide by whatever expedited processes this Court may set.”

The case to remove Trump from the ballot, Anderson v. Griswold, was filed by six Republican and unaffiliated Colorado voters in September. A Colorado District Court ruled in favor of Trump, stating his speech on Jan. 6, 2021, “incited imminent lawless violence” but didn’t meet the definition of “engagement” found in the U.S. Constitution. The case was then appealed to the Colorado Supreme Court.

“Donald Trump engaged in insurrection and was disqualified under the Constitution from the Colorado Ballot,” Griswold said in a statement on Thursday. “The Colorado Supreme Court got it right. This decision is now being appealed. I urge the U.S. Supreme Court to act quickly given the upcoming presidential primary election.”

Griswold’s office said the state’s 2024 presidential primary ballots will be sent to military and overseas voters on Jan. 20. The ballots will be mailed to active registered voters on Feb. 12 and the first day of in-person voting will be Feb. 26.