On Friday, a judge in a Colorado district court ruled that Donald Trump must be placed on the ballot for the 2024 presidential election.
Judge Sarah Wallace, appointed in 2022 by Democrat Gov. Jared Polis, ruled that Trump did engage in insurrection on January 6, 2021, but was not an officer of the United States as defined by the Fourteenth Amendment.
The lawsuit cited Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment, which bans those who “engaged in insurrection” from holding federal office, as justification for removing Trump from the ballot.
Attorneys representing Trump argued that he never participated in an insurrection and that his questioning of the 2020 election results is protected political speech under the First Amendment.
“Trump’s comments did not come close to ‘incitement,’ let alone ‘engagement’ in an insurrection,” they wrote.
Judge Sarah Wallace disagreed.
Yet she looked more favorably upon Trump’s team’s argument that the amendment does not apply to the office of the president. The text of the amendment specifies “Senator or Representative in Congress” and “elector of President and Vice President” but not “President.”
Trump has not been convicted of insurrection and was acquitted by the U.S. Senate of charges of engaging in insurrection