Advocacy Group Files Lawsuit to Block Trump’s 2024 Republican Primary Run

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On Wednesday, a significant lawsuit was filed by a Washington-based advocacy group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, with the intent to prevent the inclusion of former President Donald Trump in the 2024 Republican primary ballot set to take place in Colorado. The basis of the lawsuit centers around the 14th Amendment, which inhibits insurrectionists from holding public office. This legal strategy, while considered a longshot, is gaining traction among both liberal and conservative legal minds.

In an act of rebuttal, Trump denies any misconduct in relation to the US Capitol attack that transpired on January 6, 2021. He recently argued in a social media post that there is “no legal basis” for leveraging the 14th Amendment to dismiss his eligibility for the ballot.

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The post-Civil War portion of the 14th Amendment dictates that any American official who pledges an oath to uphold the US Constitution shall not hold future office if they engaged in acts of insurrection or rebellion or provided aid or comfort to insurrectionists. However, the application of this ban remains ambiguous due to the Constitution failing to provide an enforcement procedure. Historical precedents are scarce with only two implementations since the late 1800s against former Confederates.

Six Colorado voters, identified as independents or Republicans by CREW, have been named as the plaintiffs. Notable among them are former US Rep. Claudine Schneider and former Colorado Senate Majority Leader Norma Anderson. The president of CREW, Noah Bookbinder, stated to CNN’s Abby Phillip that Colorado was chosen due to its courageous plaintiffs, its early position in the primaries and its existing laws.

Bookbinder shared that CREW is also known for their successful implementation of the “disqualification clause”. It resulted in the removal of a convicted January 6 rioter and elected New Mexico county commissioner on 14th Amendment grounds, following a legal mechanism initiated by CREW.

The lawsuit filed on Wednesday targets Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold, requesting the court issue an order declaring Trump disqualified under the 14th Amendment. Griswold has indicated that Colorado state law currently lacks clarity in relation to reviewing constitutional requirements for candidate’s eligibility for office and believes the new lawsuit would provide essential legal guidance.

Steven Cheung, Trump’s campaign spokesman, dismissed the lawsuit, stating that proponents of the 14th Amendment breach are “stretching the law beyond recognition.”

Despite legal ambiguity and these recent developments, Trump remains the frontrunner in the GOP primary race according to current polls. Legal scholars continue to debate how the 14th Amendment could impact Trump’s candidacy, and there is a growing presumption that the Supreme Court may necessitate to intervene and provide clarity.

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Melinda Cochrane is a poet, teacher and fiction author. She is also the editor and publisher of The Inspired Heart, a collection of international writers. Melinda also runs a publishing company, Melinda Cochrane International books for aspiring writers, based out Montreal, Quebec. Her publication credits include: The art of poetic inquiry, (Backalong Books), a novella, Desperate Freedom, (Brian Wrixon Books Canada), and 2 collections of poetry; The Man Who Stole Father’s Boat, (Backalong Books), and She’s an Island Poet, Desperate Freedom was on the bestseller's list for one week, and The Man Who Stole Father’s Boat is one of hope and encouragement for all those living in the social welfare system. She’s been published in online magazines such as, (regular writer for) ‘Life as a Human’, and Shannon Grissom’s magazine.