WASHINGTON—The six Republican and unaffiliated Colorado voters who successfully sued to bar Donald Trump from the ballot under the 14th Amendment today filed their response to Trump’s arguments before the United States Supreme Court.
“The facts and the law are clear: Donald Trump disqualified himself under the Constitution by inciting insurrection in an attempt to keep himself in power on January 6th, 2021, and the Colorado courts had the authority to determine his eligibility,” said CREW President Noah Bookbinder. “The decision made by the Colorado Supreme Court was based on volumes of briefing as well as facts developed in a five-day hearing featuring testimony from numerous fact witnesses and experts. In his brief to the Supreme Court, Trump did not identify any errors in that decision that would warrant overturning it.”
Trump’s position is less legal than it is political. He suggests that he can’t be disqualified because he is “popular” among some voters and not-so-subtly threatens “bedlam” if he is excluded from the ballot. But popularity does not trump the Constitution, and this country already saw the “bedlam” Trump unleashed when he was defeated in a fair election. Section 3 is designed precisely to avoid giving oath-breaking insurrectionists like Trump the power to unleash such mayhem again.
“After the Capitol came under attack on January 6th, I turned to the Constitution. It was clear to me then that Donald Trump was constitutionally disqualified from serving as president,” said former Colorado House and Senate Majority Leader Norma Anderson. “My fellow plaintiffs and I are honored to bring this case to the Supreme Court to protect the rights of each and every Coloradan.”
Trump gives short shrift to the central issue in this case—whether he engaged in insurrection—because he has no serious defense. He no longer disputes that the January 6th attack was an insurrection against the Constitution.
“This historic case is nothing less than a defense of the democratic principles that define America itself,” said Jason Murray of Olson Grimsley Kawanabe Hinchcliff & Murray LLC. “We look forward to ensuring our victory at the Colorado Supreme Court is upheld.”
Trump’s brief focuses on wordplay, claiming he gets a free pass because his oath was “to preserve, protect, and defend” the Constitution, not “to support” the Constitution, and claiming that the president is not an “officer of the United States” even though the Constitution says the Presidency is a federal “office.”
“The perfunctory five-page work of fiction Trump offers to distance himself from the attack…ignores the detailed 150 paragraphs of factual findings by the trial court and pretends damning facts don’t exist,” today’s brief reads. “Trump shows no error, much less the clear error required for reversal.”
CREW, along with the firms Tierney Lawrence Stiles LLC, KBN Law, LLC and Olson Grimsley Kawanabe Hinchcliff & Murray LLC, brought this case on behalf of six Republican and unaffiliated Colorado voters.