The 14th Amendment was ratified after the Civil War to give the same rights, freedoms and liberties we all enjoy to former slaves, but it included Section 3, which barred anyone from Congress or presidency if they had been part of an insurrection. At the time, it was to prevent those who fought in the Confederacy from holding public office, but today, that same clause is being cited to disqualify Donald Trump from running for president again in Colorado.
In the courtroom, the plaintiffs who brought this lawsuit tried to prove the Jan. 6 riots would not have taken place if it wasn't for the former President. But the defense argued Mr. Trump used the word "peaceful" several times in tweets and videos leading up to the riot, claiming he did not incite the attack. Police officers who were at the Capitol that day painted a vivid picture of the violence that took place.
Jena Griswold, the Colorado Secretary of State said, "So there are big constitutional questions: Did his actions rise to the level of disqualification? Who gets to determine that, is it me or is it the court? Would it bar him from ballot access or just from being seated in office if he was disqualified? And there is disagreement, and that's exactly why it's appropriate for a court to weigh in right now."
Leading up to this week, defense attorneys for Mr. Trump argued the case should be thrown out, citing donations made by the presiding judge over the case to liberal organizations, but the judge claimed she had no personal opinion on the matter. On Thursday, another court case will begin in Minnesota, citing Section 3 as well to see if the former President will be removed from the ballot there.
There's barely precedent for the use of the 14th Amendment's Section 3 clause. Only one successful case was brought forth in New Mexico years ago that ousted a local county official from his role.
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