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Donald Trump barred from running for president in Colorado over 'insurrection' as legal team vows to fight court ruling
19 December 2023, 23:29 | Updated: 20 December 2023, 05:20
Donald Trump is ineligible to run for the US presidency in 2024 due to the January 6 insurrection, the Colorado Supreme Court has ruled.
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The former US president has been removed from the state's presidential primary ballot, setting up a showdown in the national Supreme Court to decide whether he can remain in the race as his legal team vowed to fight the judgement.
The Colorado court ruled 4-3 that Trump is not an eligible candidate because of section three of the 14th Amendment.
Section Three of the 14th Amendment disqualifies people who have 'engaged in insurrection against the Constitution after having taken the oath to support it'.
The ruling, which has been put on hold pending an appeal, does not apply to other US states.
Trump is accused of inciting riots at the US Capitol Building in a bid to overturn the 2020 election result.
“We are mindful of the magnitude and weight of the questions now before us,” the justices wrote.
“We are likewise mindful of our solemn duty to apply the law, without fear or favor, and without being swayed by public reaction to the decisions that the law mandates we reach.”
It said there was "clear and convincing" evidence that Trump engaged in an insurrection.
It reverses a decision made by a previous Colorado judge.
The boss of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, the group which filed the lawsuit leading to the judgement, said: "The court's decision today affirms what our clients alleged in this lawsuit: that Donald Trump is an insurrectionist who disqualified himself from office under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment based on his role in the January 6th attack on the Capitol."
Noah Bookbinder added: "Our Constitution clearly states that those who violate their oath by attacking our democracy are barred from serving in government.
"It has been an honor to represent the petitioners, and we look forward to ensuring that this vitally important ruling stands."
Steven Cheung, a spokesman Mr Trump's campaign, said the ruling was "completely flawed".
"Democrat Party leaders are in a state of paranoia over the growing, dominant lead President Trump has amassed in the polls," Mr Cheung said.
"They have lost faith in the failed Biden presidency and are now doing everything they can to stop the American voters from throwing them out of office next November."
He noted that the decision was made by four judges who were appointed by Democratic governors in the state.
Unlike Britain, American courts are divided along political lines.
Mr Trump's legal team will "swiftly file an appeal" to the US Supreme Court, he added.
Eric Trump said on X: "Prediction: This Colorado decision will add 5%+ points to @realDonaldTrump already runaway polls."
Ronna Romney McDaniel, the head of the Republican National Committee, said the group "looks forward to helping fight for a victory".
Vivek Ramaswamy, a Republican candidate for the presidency who has manoeuvred himself as supporter of Mr Trump's, said: "I pledge to *withdraw* from the Colorado GOP primary unless Trump is also allowed to be on the state’s ballot, and I demand that Ron DeSantis, Chris Christie, and Nikki Haley to do the same immediately - or else they are tacitly endorsing this illegal maneuver which will have disastrous consequences for our country,' he posted Tuesday night on X."