A Denver courtroom on Monday heard opening arguments on a legal attempt to remove former President Donald Trump from Colorado's ballot in the 2024 election by making him ineligible under the insurrection clause of the 14th Amendment.
The suit was brought by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington on behalf of six voters in Colorado and named both Trump and Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold, a Democrat, as defendants, per Colorado Newsline.
“Donald Trump tried to overthrow the results of the 2020 presidential election,” states the lawsuit, filed on Sept. 6 in Denver District Court. “His efforts culminated on January 6, 2021, when he incited, exacerbated, and otherwise engaged in a violent insurrection at the United States Capitol by a mob who believed they were following his orders, and refused to protect the Capitol or call off the mob for nearly three hours as the attack unfolded.”
“After the 2020 election cycle, President Trump made various statements and took various legal actions questioning the fairness or accuracy of the announced results,” Trump’s attorneys argued in a Sept. 29 motion to dismiss the case. “But he is hardly the first politician to do that — and Petitioners identify no facts that could convert this political controversy into an insurrection against the government.”
A video from the courtroom showed attorney Eric Olson arguing that voters must be stripped of the ability to circle Trump's name on the ballot because “only eligible candidates” as defined by himself should be allowed to run for president. Olson argued the case was brought forth “to ensure Colorado has a fair election.”
“Six Colorado voters, four Republicans and two independents, brought this case to ensure Colorado has a fair election among eligible candidates,” Olson said. “Trump incited a violent mob to attack our Capitol, to stop the peaceful transfer of power under our Constitution. That mob got within 40 feet of Vice President Pence after they chased him on the Senate floor. That mob tried to hurt and kill our elected leaders. And we are here because Trump claims after all, that he has the right to be president again. But our Constitution, our shared charter of our nation, 50 cannot do so. And Colorado law says this court must ensure that only eligible candidates appear on our ballots. Six Colorado voters, four Republicans and two independents brought this case to ensure Colorado has a fair election.”
Section 3 of the 14th Amendment of the Constitution states that no person holding office “shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.” Olson argues that Trump violated this clause due to his conduct after the 2020 election and during the US Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021. Trump has neither been charged nor convicted of insurrection by any court or prosecutor.