What does Trump’s disqualification ruling in Colorado mean?

What does Trump’s disqualification ruling in Colorado mean?

What does Trump’s disqualification ruling in Colorado mean? By Reuters

Breaking News



Published Dec 20, 2023 12:08AM ET
Updated Dec 20, 2023 11:30AM ET

© Reuters. Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. President Donald Trump attends a campaign event in Waterloo, Iowa, U.S. December 19, 2023. REUTERS/Scott Morgan

By Jack Queen

(Reuters) -Donald Trump was disqualified from Colorado’s presidential primary ballot by the state’s Supreme Court on Tuesday, an extraordinary ruling that could be struck down ahead of the November 2024 US election.

Here is a look at the decision and what it means for the former U.S. president and frontrunner for the 2024 Republican nomination.


A slim majority of the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that Trump is disqualified from appearing on the state’s ballot under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which bars anyone engaged in “insurrection or rebellion” from holding federal office.

A lower court judge previously ruled that Trump’s actions on Jan. 6, 2021, during a violent attack on the U.S. Capitol by his supporters amounted to insurrection but stopped short of disqualifying him, saying Section 3 does not apply to presidents.

The Colorado Supreme Court paused its own ruling pending review by the U.S. Supreme Court, which Trump said he will immediately seek.


The case involves a host of unprecedented legal issues related to Section 3, which was passed in the aftermath of the Civil War and has rarely been tested.

It is not clear how the Supreme Court would rule, but it is dominated by a conservative majority that includes three Trump appointees, some of whom are longtime skeptics of giving courts powers that are not clearly based in legislation.

That was a top concern for the dissenting justices in the 4-3 Colorado decision, who said the majority’s ruling would strip Trump of one of his most basic rights without adequate due process.

They noted that Trump has not been convicted of insurrection by a jury and did not have the right to subpoena records or compel witnesses to testify in the case, among other basic rights afforded to criminal defendants.


Trump’s campaign called the court decision “undemocratic.”

“The Colorado Supreme Court issued a completely flawed decision tonight and we will swiftly file an appeal to the United States Supreme Court,” a campaign spokesperson said.

He and has allies have criticized disqualification cases in Colorado and several other states as undemocratic and part of a conspiracy by his political rivals to keep him out of office.


Even if the ruling survives Supreme Court review, it could be inconsequential to the outcome of the November 2024 election because Trump does not need to win Colorado and is not expected to, given its strong Democratic leanings.

Colorado has nine of the 270 electoral votes required to win the presidency. Biden won the state by more than 13 percentage points in the 2020 election.

But similar lawsuits could be filed in competitive states that Trump must win to prevail, and while none of those courts would be bound by the Colorado decision, judges will likely study it closely while reaching their own conclusions.


Voters and advocacy groups have sued to block Trump from the ballot in more than 12 states, but at least seven of them have failed for a variety of reasons.

Courts in Michigan, New Hampshire and Florida have dismissed similar cases on procedural and jurisdictional grounds, with some rulings stating that courts do not have the power to unilaterally disqualify candidates from ballots.

The Minnesota Supreme Court has also rejected a disqualification case.

What does Trump’s disqualification ruling in Colorado mean?

Our Apps

Terms And Conditions
Privacy Policy
Risk Warning
Do not sell my personal information

© 2007-2023 Fusion Media Limited. All Rights Reserved.

Risk Disclosure: Trading in financial instruments and/or cryptocurrencies involves high risks including the risk of losing some, or all, of your investment amount, and may not be suitable for all investors. Prices of cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile and may be affected by external factors such as financial, regulatory or political events. Trading on margin increases the financial risks.Before deciding to trade in financial instrument or cryptocurrencies you should be fully informed of the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite, and seek professional advice where needed.Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. The data and prices on the website are not necessarily provided by any market or exchange, but may be provided by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual price at any given market, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Fusion Media and any provider of the data contained in this website will not accept liability for any loss or damage as a result of your trading, or your reliance on the information contained within this website.It is prohibited to use, store, reproduce, display, modify, transmit or distribute the data contained in this website without the explicit prior written permission of Fusion Media and/or the data provider. All intellectual property rights are reserved by the providers and/or the exchange providing the data contained in this website.Fusion Media may be compensated by the advertisers that appear on the website, based on your interaction with the advertisements or advertisers.