Appeal filed in lawsuit seeking to keep Trump off Colorado ballot for engaging in an insurrection

November 21, 2023, 7:35 am
Trump’s Georgia mugshot.

The six Republican and unaffiliated voters who filed a lawsuit challenging Donald Trump’s right to be on the 2024 Colorado presidential ballot on Monday night appealed last week’s ruling finding Trump engaged in insurrection but could still appear on the ballot.

“Whatever the outcome in Denver, the issue will land where it belongs in the US Supreme Court, where the conservative supermajority has handed plenty of policy victories to Republicans but has often ruled against Trump, including his 2020 election claims,” Laurence Tribe of Harvard Law School wrote on X Monday night.

Tribe, a leading constitutional scholar who has long advocated for the position that Trump is disqualified from being on the ballot under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, also linked to a Washington Monthly article in which he’s further cited for his take on last week’s ruling:

“The Colorado judge created a wall of findings too high for anyone to scale and then tossed Trump a lifeline too weak and frayed for anyone to use,” Tribe wrote. “She found him guilty of trying to terminate the Constitution he swore as president to defend and held that would bar anyone else from running for president. But she then held the Framers left a loophole in the wall they built to protect our republic by naming the president as the one officer who could engage in insurrection against the Constitution without losing the chance to run again!”

Trump has been indicted for numerous crimes by both federal and state prosecutors for his actions leading up to and during the Jan. 6, 2021 storming of the U.S. Capitol by his supporters, who were intent on stopping the lawful Electoral College certification of President Joe Biden by Congress.

Here’s the Tuesday morning press release from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), which is representing the Colorado voters challenging Trump’s appearance on the 2024 presidential ballot:

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The six Republican and unaffiliated Colorado voters who challenged Donald Trump’s eligibility to be on the ballot following his actions on January 6th last night filed an appeal with the Colorado Supreme Court challenging the judge’s rulings that the president is not an “officer of the United States” and that the president’s oath to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution” is not an oath to “support” the Constitution as required by Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. 

Not only did the district court rule in favor of the petitioners on every factual issue necessary to disqualify Trump from the ballot–including the historic ruling that he engaged in insurrection against the Constitution as president, it also found for the petitioners on every legal issue necessary to remove Trump save for the one. The six voters are represented by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and the firms Tierney Lawrence Stiles LLC, KBN Law, LLC and Olson Grimsley Kawanabe Hinchcliff & Murray LLC. 

“We always knew this case would end up before the Colorado Supreme Court, and have been preparing for that from the beginning,” CREW President Noah Bookbinder said. “We are planning to build on the trial judge’s incredibly important ruling that Donald Trump engaged in insurrection, and we are ready to take this case as far as necessary to ensure that Donald Trump is removed from the ballot.” 

The court held that the six voters stated a claim under Colorado law, that Section 3 may be enforced through state ballot access laws, that the petition does not raise a non-justiciable political question and that the First Amendment does not shield Trump’s incitement. The only question left to be decided is whether the oath Trump took as president-elect subjects him to the 14th Amendment’s disqualification clause. 

Trump’s lawyers have already indicated to the Colorado Supreme Court that they will appeal the trial court’s decision. 

“While Donald Trump is taking a victory lap claiming he won decisively in district court, it’s telling that his lawyers are attempting to overturn that so-called ‘victory,’” Bookbinder said. 

Click here to read the filing.

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David O. Williams
David O. Williams is an award-winning freelance reporter based in the Vail Valley of Colorado, writing on health care, immigration, politics, the environment, energy, public lands, outdoor recreation and sports. His work has appeared in 5280 Magazine, American Way Magazine (American Airlines), the Anchorage Daily News (Alaska), Aspen Daily News, the Aspen Times, Beaver Creek Magazine, the Chicago Tribune, the Colorado Independent, Colorado Politics formerly the Colorado Statesman), Colorado Public News, the Colorado Springs Gazette, the Colorado Independent (formerly Colorado Confidential), the Colorado Springs Independent, the Colorado Statesman (now Colorado Politics), the Daily Trail (Vail), the Denver Daily News, the Denver Post, the Durango Herald, the Eagle Valley Enterprise, the Eastside Journal (Bellevue, Washington),, the Glenwood Springs Post-Independent, the Greeley Tribune, the Huffington Post, the King County Journal (Seattle, Washington), (northern Colorado), LA Weekly, the London Daily Mirror, the Montgomery Journal (Maryland), The New York Times, the Parent’s Handbook, Peaks Magazine (now Epic Life), People Magazine, Powder Magazine, the Pueblo Chieftain, PT Magazine, Rocky Mountain Golf Magazine, the Rocky Mountain News, Atlantic Media's (formerly Government Executive State and Local), SKI Magazine, Ski Area Management, SKIING Magazine, the Summit Daily News, United Hemispheres (United Airlines), Vail/Beaver Creek Magazine, Vail en Español, Vail Valley Magazine, the Vail Daily, the Vail Trail and Westword (Denver). Williams is also the founder, publisher and editor of and

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