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No ‘get out of jail free’ card for Trump: Colorado official

By Jake Beardslee · January 4, 2024

In brief…

  • Former President Trump appealing Colorado ruling removing him from 2024 ballot, citing 14th Amendment
  • Colorado Secretary of State says he doesn't have "get out of jail free card" for alleged insurrection role
  • Case centers around whether 14th Amendment applies to bar Trump from office for Capitol riots
  • Colorado hopes Supreme Court acts quickly given approaching election timeline
  • Ruling could set key precedent on holding presidents accountable for actions
Donald Trump is appealing to the Supreme Court after Colorado barred him from the 2024 ballot.  Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America/Wikimedia

Former President Donald Trump is appealing a recent Colorado Supreme Court decision that removed him from the state’s 2024 presidential ballot, citing a provision of the 14th Amendment related to the January 6th Capitol riots. Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold stated in an with MSNBC’s “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell”  that Trump does not have a “get out of jail free card” and should be held accountable if courts determine he incited the insurrection.

Trump’s legal team argues that the Colorado court has “no authority to deny President Trump access to the ballot” and is overstepping its bounds by applying Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which bars those who engaged in insurrection from holding federal office, according to The Hill. Griswold contends it is “so important” for the U.S. Supreme Court to weigh in, calling this an “unprecedented” situation with high stakes for American democracy. She hopes the court acts quickly, given the approaching election timeline.

Griswold said, “Usually, we do not have presidents trying to steal the presidency. Usually, we do not have people who engage in insurrection run for president.” She believes no one, including a former president, should be above the law if found guilty of inciting the Capitol attack. However, Trump’s lawyers claim he is protected from the 14th Amendment provision and that states cannot block him from the ballot. This crucial constitutional debate now rests with the Supreme Court.