Written by Hudson Crozier
What’s happening: The trial jeopardizing former President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign in Colorado began yesterday in state court. Seeking to bar Trump from the 2024 ballot, attorneys for the plaintiffs argue that the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot disqualifies him from holding public office under the Constitution’s “insurrection” clause.
- What it says: The 14th Amendment disqualifies anyone who has “taken an oath … to support the Constitution” and “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”
Does that describe Trump? Trump told his supporters to “peacefully” protest, did not instruct them to enter the building, and called for peace after rioting broke out. The Department of Justice brought no contrary evidence in its January 6 indictment against Trump.
- Even then: Whether the Capitol riot was an “insurrection” in the first place is up for debate, legally speaking. This is partially why a Georgia court ruled against activists who tried to get Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) removed from ballots last year.
Why it matters: Regardless of the facts, Colorado Judge Sarah Wallace is likely to rule against Trump, denying Colorado voters the right to choose their president. An appointee of Democrat Gov. Jared Polis, she has dismissed every one of Trump’s legal arguments so far.
- Her background: Wallace has personally donated to Colorado Turnout Project, an anti-January 6 group formed in response to the “extremists who stormed the Capitol” that “aims to prevent violent insurrections.”
- However: Whichever side loses the case is likely to appeal, starting a lengthy legal battle.