A Colorado judge heard closing arguments on Wednesday regarding the constitutionality of former President Donald Trump’s eligibility for the ballot under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. The provision prohibits those who have “engaged in insurrection” from holding office, and the hearing follows recent developments in Minnesota and Michigan, where similar challenges were addressed.
Last week, the Minnesota Supreme Court sidestepped the issue, asserting that political parties have the authority to determine primary ballot eligibility. Meanwhile, a Michigan judge dismissed a lawsuit, deeming the matter a “political question” for Congress to decide. The liberal group behind the Michigan case plans to appeal.
Trump’s attorney, Scott Gessler, argued that the rulings in Minnesota and Michigan demonstrate a growing consensus across the judiciary, asserting that the petitioners failed to prove the applicability of Section 3 to Trump during the weeklong hearing.
The lawsuit, filed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, is seen as one of the more advanced cases, along with those in Michigan and Minnesota. The plaintiffs argue that Trump’s actions on January 6 constituted an insurrection, barring him from future presidential candidacy.
Based on information from an ABC News report, during the closing arguments, the plaintiffs’ attorney, Sean Grimsley, emphasized the historical significance, stating, ‘We are here because, for the first time in our nation’s history, the president of the United States engaged in an insurrection. Now he wants to be president again. The Constitution does not allow that.’
Trump’s legal team characterized the lawsuits as ‘election interference,’ urging the judge to consider the potential impact on voters’ choices. They also requested the judge’s recusal due to a previous donation to a group critical of Trump.
The judge, Sarah B. Wallace, will have 48 hours to rule after the conclusion of arguments, with potential appeals leading to the Colorado Supreme Court and potentially the U.S. Supreme Court, which has not yet ruled on Section 3.