- Donald Trump engaged in insurrection but can still run for president, a Colorado court ruled Friday.
- A government ethics watchdog had argued he should be banned due to a clause in the 14th Amendment.
- But the clause doesn’t disqualify people from the presidency, judge Sarah B. Wallace found.
Donald Trump is still eligible to run for president even though he engaged in an insurrection by inciting the January 6 Capitol riots, a Colorado judge ruled Friday.
Sarah B. Wallace turned down a challenge from the government watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, which argued a clause in the 14th Amendment disqualifies Trump from holding office again.
Section 3 of the amendment bans anyone who has taken an oath to support the Constitution then “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” from serving as a senator, representative, or presidential elector without the approval of two-thirds of Congress.
Wallace found that Trump “engaged in an insurrection on January 6, 2021, through incitement” – but also ruled that the clause didn’t apply to people running for President.
“The Court holds there is scant direct evidence regarding whether the Presidency is one of the positions subject to disqualification,” she wrote.
“To lump the Presidency in with any other civil or military office is odd indeed and very troubling to the Court… under traditional rules of statutory construction, when a list includes specific positions but then fails to include others, courts assume the exclusion was intentional,” Wallace added.
Friday’s ruling marks the third time this month that liberal groups have failed to use the 14th Amendment to prevent Trump from running for the presidency in 2024.
Last week, Minnesota’s Supreme Court ruled that Trump was still eligible to appear on primary ballots, turning away a lawsuit from Free Speech for People. It left open the possibility he could be disqualified from the general election in 2024.
On Tuesday, a Michigan judge ruled against Free Speech for People’s claim that Section 3 meant Trump would be ineligible to appear on primary ballots in the state. Free Speech for People said Thursday that it would appeal the decision.
The Trump campaign celebrated Friday’s decision.
“We applaud today’s ruling in Colorado, which is another nail in the coffin of the un-American ballot challenges,” spokesman Steven Cheung said in a statement.