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Official portrait of President Donald J. Trump, Friday, October 6, 2017. (Official White House photo by Shealah Craighead)

By Sola Ojewusi

Denver, Colorado – December 19, 2023

In a decisive 4-3 ruling yesterday, the Colorado Supreme Court delivered a landmark judgment barring former President Donald Trump from contesting the presidency under the state’s insurrection law. The ruling has stirred significant controversy and legal debates.

The court’s majority opinion, led by Chief Justice Rachel Martinez, asserted that Trump’s actions during the January 6th Capitol riot constituted an insurrection, making him ineligible to run for the highest office in the state. The narrow margin of the decision highlighted the intensity of the legal deliberations.

Justices of the Colorado Supreme Court

Trump’s legal team immediately expressed discontent with the judgment and vowed to appeal the decision at the United States Supreme Court. In a statement released shortly after the ruling, Trump’s attorneys argued that the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision was politically motivated and infringed upon his constitutional rights.
Key findings
The court issued several key findings in its sweeping decision:

• Colorado state law allows voters to challenge Trump’s eligibility under the federal constitution’s “insurrectionist ban.”

• Colorado courts can enforce the ban without any action from Congress.

• The insurrectionist ban applies to the presidency.

• The January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol was an insurrection.

• Trump “engaged in” the insurrection.

• Trump’s speech “inciting the crowd” on January 6 was “not protected by the First Amendment.”

Chief Justice Brian Boatright, one of the three dissenters on the seven-member court, wrote that he believes Colorado election law “was not enacted to decide whether a candidate engaged in insurrection,” and said he would have dismissed the challenge to Trump’s eligibility.

“In the absence of an insurrection-related conviction, I would hold that a request to disqualify a candidate under Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment is not a proper cause of action under Colorado’s election code,” he wrote.

The legal battle now moves to the national stage, with implications for the broader discussion on the limits of the insurrection law and its application to political figures. Observers anticipate that the case may have ripple effects beyond Colorado, influencing electoral laws and eligibility criteria in other states.

The decision in Denver comes amid heightened scrutiny on Trump’s role in the events surrounding the Capitol riot, with ongoing investigations at both the federal and state levels. The outcome of this legal battle could further shape the narrative surrounding Trump’s political future and set precedent for similar cases across the country.

As the legal saga unfolds, all eyes are now on the United States Supreme Court, where Trump’s legal team seeks to overturn the Colorado ruling and secure his ability to run for the presidency in future elections.

With additional reports courtesy of

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