In a ruling that has drawn significant attention, a Colorado judge has decided that former President Donald Trump can remain on the state's primary ballot, sparking a wide range of reactions.
Despite acknowledging that Trump incited the January 6 Capitol riots, the judge ruled that he could stay on the ballot, leading his attorney to celebrate the decision as a victory for voters' rights.
Scott Gessler, Trump's attorney, expressed satisfaction with Judge Sarah Wallace's decision. He stated that the ruling prioritized voters' role in the democratic process above the court's power to interfere.
Interestingly, while District Judge Sarah Wallace agreed that Trump "incited" the January 6 Capitol riots, she opined that the 14th Amendment does not explicitly apply to the presidency. This was a crucial point in her ruling to keep Trump on the Colorado primary ballot.
The lawsuit, initiated by CREW and backed by four Republicans and two independent Colorado voters, aimed to remove Trump from the ballot. Their argument centered on the idea that Trump's actions could be construed as an insurrection under the 14th Amendment and, thus, disqualify him from holding "office."
Despite the loss, CREW saw the ruling as a partial victory, asserting that the judge's recognition of Trump's role in inciting the Capitol riots was an important affirmation. They have pledged to appeal the decision.
The legal dispute began in September 2022, when CREW and the Colorado voters filed a lawsuit to remove Donald Trump from the primary ballot.
Fast forward to November 2023, District Judge Sarah Wallace ruled that Trump could remain on the ballot but did not shy away from acknowledging his role in the January 6 riots.
After the ruling, both sides reacted differently. While Gessler celebrated the decision as a win for democracy, CREW announced its intention to appeal.
Scott Gessler, representing Trump, expressed satisfaction with the judge's decision. He emphasized the importance of leaving the choice of candidates to voters rather than the courts. Gessler's reaction underlines a broader debate over the role of the judiciary in electoral matters.
"We're pretty satisfied with the outcome... At the end of the day … the voters of Colorado are going to be able to make the choice, not a court,” he said. “And we’re thankful that she respected the role of voters, and stopped the sort of efforts, or at least the effort in Colorado, which is anti-democratic, trying to strike President Trump off the ballot."
Gessler also pointed out the judge's personal views on Trump, suggesting that her decision upheld a crucial democratic principle despite her biases.
The recent ruling in Colorado has sparked a passionate debate about voters' rights and the interpretation of the 14th Amendment.