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On Wednesday, the Colorado Supreme Court heard appeal arguments in the case to remove 2024 GOP frontrunner Donald Trump from the primary ballot in the state through the 14th Amendment.
A lower court judge on November 17 ruled that Trump could remain on the ballot, sparking appeals to the higher court by the petitioners. Attorneys for Trump also appealed the lower court ruling, saying that while the judge agreed to keep Trump on the ballot, the ruling was accompanied by the claim that Trump was an “insurrectionist” who caused the J6 riot at the Capital building.
During the hearing, Justice Melissa Hart asked Eric Olson, attorney for the petitioners, what Trump being off the ballot in the state would mean for independent and Republican voters come the primary election, which will take place on March 5, 2024.
“So Mr. Olson, should we be concerned about that, as we think about the Republican citizens of Colorado or unaffiliated folks who want to cast a ballot in the Republican primary, if what you’re saying is correct, President Trump will be on the ballot in most states, but not here in Colorado,” Hart said.
“So effectively, the Republican or unaffiliated voter who wants to participate in the presidential primary, Republican primary won’t really be able to participate because the person who’s on most ballots and appears to be leading in the primary is not an option.”
In response, Olson said that “other states have different mechanisms,” noting California is allowing for post election challenges when there’s an unqualified candidate. “So just because there’s not a pre election qualification dispute under the law, doesn’t mean there won’t be a post election one.”
Olson said that he and the group that brought forth the suit are “worried about” this, and “our clients, who are Republicans and independents, they filed the suit because they want a fair shot in the Republican primary to vote for a qualified candidate and have their support for a qualified candidate not be diluted through votes for a candidate who will be disqualified.”
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