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Judge Hands Trump Loss: Refuses to Dismiss Lawsuit to Block Him From Colorado Ballot, Setting Up Unprecedented Trial

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A judge in Colorado has refused to dismiss a lawsuit aimed at blocking former President Donald Trump from appearing on the state’s 2024 presidential ballot over claims he engaged in “insurrection” in the aftermath of the 2020 election.

CNN reported Friday that Colorado District Judge Sarah Wallace, who was appointed to the position by the state’s Democratic Governor Jared Polis, blocked three separate attempts by both Trump’s legal team and the Colorado GOP to dismiss the lawsuit, which was filed by the liberal watchdog Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

The suit claims Trump’s name on the ballot would violate the 14th Amendment, which prohibits anyone from holding office who has engaged in “insurrection or rebellion” against the United States.

Critics of the former president claim the Capitol incursion of Jan. 6, 2021, amounted to a form of “insurrection.”

In her 24-page ruling, Wallace wrote that the issue of whether Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold has the power to remove Trump’s name from the ballot “is a pivotal issue and one best reserved for trial.”

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Wallace also dismissed claims by the local GOP that it has the sole right to determine who appears as their candidate on the ballot.

“If the Party, without any oversight, can choose its preferred candidate, then it could theoretically nominate anyone regardless of their age, citizenship, residency,” Wallace wrote.

“Such an interpretation is absurd; the Constitution and its requirements for eligibility are not suggestions, left to the political parties to determine at their sole discretion,” she continued.

The Trump campaign criticized the ruling, saying that Wallace had “got it wrong.”

Do you believe a new Trump presidential term would violate the 14th Amendment?

“She is going against the clear weight of legal authority. We are confident the rule of law will prevail, and this decision will be reversed – whether at the Colorado Supreme Court, or at the U.S. Supreme Court,” a campaign representative said in a statement on Saturday, according to CNN.

“To keep the leading candidate for President of the United States off the ballot is simply wrong and un-American.”

Before getting to the presidential ballot, Trump still has to win the Republican nomination. However, polls show him with a commanding lead over the rest of the GOP field. The RealClearPolitics polling average as of Monday showed he had the support of 59.1 percent of Republican voters polled, a 46.3-point lead over his nearest rival, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

It is not the first time that Wallace has blocked the Trump campaign’s attempts to dismiss this specific lawsuit. As CNN reported earlier this month, in Oct. 11 decision, Wallace wrote that she had “no difficulty concluding that it is to the benefit of the general public that, regardless of political affiliation, only constitutionally qualified candidates are placed on the ballot.”

The ruling means that the case will proceed to trial on Oct. 30, setting up a legal showdown as to whether the case for blocking Trump has any merit.

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The last time a Republican won Colorado in a presidential election was in 2004, when then-President George W. Bush defeated Democrat John Kerry by just over 100,000 votes.

The Supreme Court has already declined to take a separate case seeking to disqualify Trump from running for president altogether.

According to CNN, that case was originally brought by Anthony Castro, a long-shot candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, who similarly cited Trump’s “alleged provision of aid or comfort to the convicted criminals and insurrectionists that violently attacked our United States Capitol on January 6, 2021.”

Although the Supreme Court declined to take the case, it had previously been dismissed by a lower federal court, which ruled that Castro lacked standing to challenge Trump’s right to appear on the ballot.


This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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