A government watchdog group spearheaded the filing of a lawsuit Wednesday in Colorado invoking the 14th Amendment’s Disqualification Clause to bar Donald Trump from the 2024 ballot due to his actions on and around Jan. 6.
The lawsuit by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) was filed in state court in Denver and names a handful of Colorado voters as the petitioners and Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold (D) as the respondent.
As detailed in recent interviews with TPM, CREW plans to file disqualification lawsuits in multiple states by the end of this year. While Colorado has become too blue to be counted as a true presidential swing state anymore, CREW’s director of strategic litigation Nikhel Sus told TPM that part of the calculation was filing in places where they could put on extensive, evidence-heavy trials.
The group argues that Trump is disqualified from holding office again under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which bars those who have taken an oath and then “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” against the Constitution or have “given aid or comfort” to its enemies.
In some states, the groups leading the disqualification charge need to wait until the primary candidates are finalized.
“Despite his constitutional disqualification, Trump is presently a ‘candidate’ under Colorado and federal law for the 2024 Republican presidential primary election,” said the plaintiffs in the Wednesday filing.
The 115-page filing details Trump’s Big Lie crusade, breaking down Jan. 6 in granular detail. It benefited from the extensive work in tracking Trump’s movements and statements revealed by the House Jan. 6 committee and subsequent indictments.
“The Secretary has the power and duty to exclude constitutionally ineligible candidates from the ballot. Despite this duty, the Secretary has not committed to excluding Trump from the presidential primary ballot based on his disqualification under Section 3,” the filing read. “Based on historical practice, the Secretary will not independently investigate Trump’s constitutional eligibility under Section 3 and exclude him from the ballot on that basis absent a judicial order to that effect.”
The Wednesday suit is part of the opening salvo, as CREW and fellow good government group Free Speech for People have been sending letters to election officials and prepping their legal strategies. Should Trump be declared ineligible in even one state, the question will likely eventually be elevated to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Read the Colorado lawsuit here: