Colorado GOP threatens to abandon primary if Trump is barred from 2024 ballot

The Colorado Republican Party threatened to cancel the primary election altogether, asserting that it would transition to a caucus-only system if the ruling was upheld.

Colorado GOP threatens to abandon primary if Trump is barred from 2024 ballot
AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall
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The Colorado Republican Party has issued a stark response to the Colorado Supreme Court's decision to remove former President Donald Trump from the state’s 2024 presidential primary ballot.

On Tuesday night, the party threatened to cancel the primary election altogether, asserting that it would transition to a caucus-only system if the ruling was upheld.

“We will withdraw from the Primary as a Party and convert to a pure caucus system if this is allowed to stand,” the party said in response to the ruling, The Daily Wire reported.

This controversial move by the Colorado GOP comes in the wake of the state Supreme Court's 4-3 decision, which found Trump ineligible for the ballot due to his alleged involvement in an insurrection on January 6, 2021. The ruling, however, will be temporarily on hold until January 4, pending an appeal.

The court declared that, under Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, Trump is disqualified from holding the office of President, thereby making his listing as a candidate on the presidential primary ballot a wrongful act under the Election Code.

“A majority of the court holds that President Trump is disqualified from holding the office of President under Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution,” the ruling said. “Because he is disqualified, it would be a wrongful act under the Election Code for the Colorado Secretary of State to list him as a candidate on the presidential primary ballot.”

In response, Trump's campaign team announced plans to appeal the decision immediately, labeling it as "deeply undemocratic" and expressing confidence in a favorable ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court to resolve these "unAmerican lawsuits."

“We have full confidence that the U.S. Supreme Court will quickly rule in our favor and finally put an end to these unAmerican lawsuits,” a spokesperson for the campaign said.

The Court said that they had “little difficulty concluding that substantial evidence” existed that showed “a concerted and public use of force or threat of force by a group of people to hinder or prevent the U.S. government from taking the actions necessary to accomplish the peaceful transfer of power in this country.”

Critics of the ruling, including Heritage Foundation election law expert and former FEC commissioner Hans von Spakovsky, have slammed the decision as "nakedly partisan" and "anti-democratic."

Von Spakovsky argues that Section 3 of the 14th Amendment does not apply to elected individuals such as the President, and that no federal court has convicted Trump of engaging in insurrection. He also contends that Section 3 may no longer be constitutionally valid following the Amnesty Acts of 1872 and 1898, and that there is no legal authority for courts to enforce Section 3 due to the lack of any federal law providing for its enforcement.

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