A liberal group in Colorado filed a lawsuit Wednesday arguing that former President Donald Trump is ineligible to run for president in a long-shot effort to boot him from the state’s primary ballot.
The lawsuit, filed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, argues that the “Disqualifications Clause” in the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution applies to Trump. The clause prohibits anyone from running for president if they have supported an “insurrection” against the U.S.
Opponents of Trump across the country have used the same argument in efforts to kick him from the ballot in other states, none of which have succeeded so far.
The clause specifically bars individuals who have “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” against America, or aided those engaged in such, from holding high office.
The Trump campaign has stated there is “no legal basis” to use the 14th Amendment to prevent Trump from appearing on the 2024 presidential ballot, accusing those pushing the effort of using “lawfare” to withhold choices from voters.
“Joe Biden, Democrats, and Never Trumpers are scared to death because they see polls showing President Trump winning in the general election,” a Trump campaign spokesperson told Fox News Digital of the effort on Tuesday.
“The people who are pursuing this absurd conspiracy theory and political attack on President Trump are stretching the law beyond recognition much like the political prosecutors in New York, Georgia and D.C.,” the spokesperson added. “There is no legal basis for this effort except in the minds of those who are pushing it. This is nothing more than a blatant attempt by enemies of America to create fake excuses and use lawfare to deprive voters of choosing their next president.”
Some legal experts have also argued that the clause can’t be used against Trump.
George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley said Monday that there “are good faith arguments in favor of this claim,” but he views the theory as “not simply dubious but dangerous.”
“The amendment was written to deal with those who engage in an actual rebellion causing hundreds of thousands of deaths,” Turley said. “Advocates would extend the reference to ‘insurrection or rebellion’ to include unsupported claims and challenges involving election fraud.”
Fox News’ Houston Keene and the Associated Press contributed to this report.