The Colorado Supreme Court ruled that Trump is Ineligible for the 2024 Ballot

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    Colorado Supreme cCourt

    A day following the Colorado Supreme Court ‘s decision to bar former President Donald Trump from the state’s 2024 ballots due to his alleged role in inciting the January 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, California Lieutenant Gov. Eleni Kounalakis is urging California’s Secretary of State, Shirley Weber, to thoroughly explore all legal avenues to replicate the disqualification.

    In a letter dated December 20, Kounalakis drew attention to the recent Colorado ruling in Anderson v. Griswold (2023 CO 63), emphasizing the court’s assertion that Trump’s involvement in the insurrection rendered him ineligible for presidential candidacy under section three of the Fourteenth Amendment. Citing the court’s stance that listing Trump as a candidate on the state’s presidential primary ballot would constitute a “wrongful act,” Kounalakis underscored the decision’s significance in upholding the rule of law and safeguarding the democratic foundations of the nation.

    As part of her campaign for the California governorship in 2026, Kounalakis argued in her letter that California must align itself with the principles of justice and democracy, emphasizing the state’s duty to determine Trump’s eligibility based on the same grounds as the Colorado decision. Stressing the potential precedent set by Colorado, Kounalakis urged California to take a stance “on the right side of history” and consider the former president ineligible for the ballot in light of the alleged role in the Capitol insurrection.

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    Kounalakis emphasized the constitutional stipulation that one must be 35 years old and not be involved in an insurrection to qualify for presidential candidacy. However, an earlier version of the letter circulated on social media with an erroneous mention of 40 years old. She underscored the gravity of the situation, stating that it transcends political maneuvering and poses a direct threat to the sanctity of the Constitution and the democratic principles it upholds.

    Colorado’s decision to disqualify Trump rested on the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, specifically tied to his alleged involvement in the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021. Despite the 4-3 ruling, the implementation has been temporarily stayed until January 4 due to anticipated appeals. The majority of the Colorado Supreme Court acknowledged the weightiness of the issue, expressing their commitment to applying the law impartially and without succumbing to external pressures.

    It’s worth noting that a prior ruling by Colorado District Judge Sarah B. Wallace had permitted Trump to remain on the ballot but acknowledged his engagement in insurrection concerning the Capitol riot. Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold, in response to the developments, asserted her commitment to following court guidance on this critical matter, indicating a cautious approach to adherence to legal proceedings.

    Griswold conveyed that the Colorado Supreme Court’s verdict has unequivocally declared Donald Trump ineligible for the state’s ballot, citing his alleged role in inciting the January 6 insurrection and attempting to overturn the 2020 presidential election. She noted the possibility of an appeal, signaling that the legal proceedings might undergo further examination.

    The basis for Colorado’s disqualification aligns with the 14th Amendment, which explicitly states that individuals who have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the United States are barred from holding various offices, including the presidency. The amendment allows for the removal of such a disability through a two-thirds majority vote in both houses of Congress.

    Notably, the legal landscape surrounding Trump’s candidacy is dynamic, with disqualification lawsuits pending in 13 states, among them Texas, Nevada, and Wisconsin. These legal challenges highlight the widespread nature of concerns regarding Trump’s eligibility for the ballot, underscoring the broader impact and implications of the ongoing legal battles across different regions of the United States.

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