State of Colorado

Colorado Trump 14th Amendment Ballot Disqualification Challenge (SCOTUS)

Anderson v. Griswold

Lawsuit filed by Republican and unaffiliated Colorado voters challenging former President Donald Trump’s ability to appear on the state’s Republican presidential primary ballot and any future ballot under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. The petitioners argue that Trump attempted to overturn the results of the 2020 election and disrupt the peaceful transfer of power on Jan. 6, 2021. As a result, the petitioners claim Trump “engaged in insurrection” and should be disqualified from holding the office of president. 

The petitioners ask the court to declare that Trump is disqualified from holding office under the 14th Amendment and is ineligible to appear on any Colorado ballot as a candidate for any state or federal office. The petitioners seek an order blocking Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold (D) from allowing Trump on the 2024 Republican presidential primary ballot and any future primary or general election ballot.

On Nov. 17, a Colorado judge ruled that although Trump engaged in insurrection, he is eligible to appear on the state’s primary ballot because Section 3 of 14th Amendment does not apply to the office of president. On Nov. 20, voters appealed the decision to the Colorado Supreme Court. Trump also appealed, citing “multiple grave jurisdictional and legal errors.”

On Dec. 19, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that Section 3 of the 14th Amendment does apply to Trump and found that he is disqualified from holding office. The court paused its decision until Jan. 4, 2024, pending an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. 

On Dec. 27, the Colorado Republican Party asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review the decision. Trump also appealed the decision on Jan. 3, 2024. On Jan. 5, the Supreme Court granted Trump’s petition. Oral argument was held on Feb. 8, 2024.

On March 4, 2024, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously reversed the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision and held that that states lack power to remove federal officers under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. However, the justices split on whether Congress is the sole federal entity that can enforce Section 3 via a specific type of enforcement legislation. The liberal justices wrote a concurring opinion agreeing with the reversal, but disagreeing with the majority’s reasoning.

Case Documents (Trial Court)

Case Documents (CO Supreme Court)

Case Documents (U.S. Supreme Court – Colorado GOP)

Case Documents (U.S. Supreme Court – Donald trump)

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