An activist group’s endeavor to prevent former President Donald Trump from appearing on Colorado’s primary ballot — based on claims related to the 14th Amendment and his involvement in the January 6 Capitol Hill attack — has been dismissed by a judge.

District Judge Sarah Wallace acknowledged the plaintiffs’ argument that Trump had “incited” the January 6, 2021, Capitol riots and that he could potentially be disqualified under the 14th Amendment. However, she pointed out that the wording of the law does not specifically apply to the position of president.

The activist organization Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) and a group consisting of four Republicans and two independent voters from Colorado filed a lawsuit in September demanding the removal of Trump from the primary ballot. The lawsuit asserts that Trump’s involvement in the insurrection violated an amendment that prohibits individuals engaged in acts of insurrection from seeking elected positions.

The plaintiffs claimed that Trump encouraged a violent crowd in an effort to prevent the peaceful transition of power as outlined in the Constitution.


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The focus of the trial revolved around two main aspects: determining whether Trump’s actions as the president can be classified as involvement in insurrection according to the clause in the 14th Amendment and establishing if the presidency falls under the definition of an “office” in the text, thus making it possible for disqualification.

The plaintiffs summoned academic experts as well as individuals who experienced violence, such as Capitol Police officers and Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-California), to establish that Trump was accountable for the incidents of the January 6 riots.

Trump’s lawyers contended that he bore no responsibility for the assaults and maintained that his speeches, even if they seemingly incited violence, were safeguarded under the First Amendment.

Wallace concurred with the plaintiffs, marking the first instance in which a court held Trump accountable for the events of January 6.

“The Court concludes, based on its findings of fact and the applicable law detailed above, that Trump incited an insurrection on January 6, 2021,” she wrote. The judge added that the former president “engage in insurrection within the meaning of Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment.”

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