A lawsuit has been initiated by a watchdog organization headquartered in Washington D.C. with the objective of preventing former President Trump from appearing on the 2024 ballot in Colorado. Their argument is centered on his alleged involvement in the events surrounding the January 6, 2021, Capitol attacks, which they claim disqualifies him under the 14th Amendment.
On Wednesday, the organization known as Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) initiated a lawsuit in which six voters from Colorado, comprising former officials from various levels of government and unaffiliated with any political party, are the plaintiffs. The core allegation made by this group is that Trump breached his oath of office by actively recruiting, inciting, and endorsing a violent mob that assaulted the Capitol on January 6, 2021, all in a futile effort to retain his position.
“If the very fabric of our democracy is to hold, we must ensure that the Constitution is enforced and the same people who attacked our democratic system not be put in charge of it. We aren’t bringing this case to make a point, we’re bringing it because it is necessary to defend our republic both today and in the future. While it is unprecedented to bring this type of case against a former president, January 6th was an unprecedented attack that is exactly the kind of event the framers of the 14th Amendment wanted to build protections in case of. You don’t break the glass unless there’s an emergency,” in a statement, Noah Bookbinder, the President of CREW, expressed.
An increasing cohort of legal experts, members of the Democratic Party, and potential Republican presidential candidates have suggested a similar argument. They contend that Trump’s eligibility to serve as president could be in question based on purported actions he undertook to maintain influence after departing from the presidency.
Section 3 of the 14th Amendment specifically stipulates that individuals who have been involved in insurrection or rebellion against the United States or have provided assistance or support to its adversaries should be barred from holding public office.
The organization pointed out that this particular clause hasn’t been invoked extensively since the Civil War era, mainly because of the scarcity of insurrections. However, they highlighted a case from New Mexico last year where they brought a lawsuit in an attempt to prevent Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin from holding office.
In that case, the group stated that the judge ruled that the events of January 6th constituted an insurrection according to the Constitution’s definition. Consequently, anyone who played a role in inciting it, even if not directly involved, was considered to have engaged in insurrection and was thus ineligible for public office.