The Colorado Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday, December 19, that former US President Donald Trump is disqualified from contesting for the presidency under the Constitution’s insurrection clause and ordered the secretary of state to exclude his name from the state’s Republican presidential primary ballot.

The landmark decision from the divided Colorado Supreme Court that Trump cannot hold public office under the Civil War-era law is unprecedented, and it marks the first time a court has found him to be ineligible to return to the White House due to his conduct surrounding the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Never before has a court determined that a presidential candidate is disqualified under the clause, Section 3 of the 14th Amendment.

The ruling does not apply outside of the state of Colorado, and the state high court, whose justices were all appointed by Democratic governors, paused its decision until Jan. 4 — one day before the deadline for Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold to certify the candidates for the state’s March 5 primary.

We conclude that because President Trump is disqualified from holding the office of President under Section Three, it would be a wrongful act under the Election Code for the Secretary to list President Trump as a candidate on the presidential primary ballot,” the court’s majority wrote in an unsigned opinion. “Therefore, the Secretary may not list President Trump’s name on the 2024 presidential primary ballot, nor may she count any write-in votes cast for him.”

Lawsuits challenging Trump’s candidacy have been filed in more than 25 states ahead of the 2024 election, though the Colorado case brought on behalf of six voters marks the most immediate threat to his campaign. National polls show Trump tops field of candidates vying for the Republican presidential nomination.

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