Washington-based ethics watchdog Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics filed a lawsuit Wednesday on behalf of a small group of voters — including former Republican elected officials — with a goal of keeping former President Donald Trump out of the 2024 Colorado election.
Section 3 of the 14th Amendment prohibits a person from holding future office if, during his tenure, he took an oath to uphold the Constitution but later “engaged in an insurrection or rebellion against it, or.” [gave] Aid or comfort to their enemies,” unless a two-thirds majority in Congress grants them amnesty. The group’s lawsuit hinges on this section, arguing that it applies to Trump for trying to redeem his 2020 election defeat and accuses the former president of inciting the mob that carried out the Capitol attack.
The lawsuit “is necessary to defend our republic both now and in the future,” CREW President Noah Bookbinder told ABC News.
“In my ten years of service in the House of Representatives, I have confirmed multiple presidential elections and seen firsthand the importance of ethics, the rule of law and the peaceful transfer of power in our democracy,” said former Republican Congresswoman Claudine (Cmarada) Schneider. “This lawsuit is vital to protecting and strengthening these fundamental democratic values, and I am honored to be a part of it.”
Trump’s team quickly dismissed the lawsuit, with the Republican frontrunner denying any wrongdoing and calling the effort “election interference.” His campaign spokesman Steven Cheung in a statement called the lawsuit an “absurd conspiracy theory and political attack” on Trump and claimed the plaintiffs “are stretching the law beyond recognition.”
Previous attempts to bar other Republicans from voting under Section 3 have failed, but CREW successfully lobbied last year to remove a New Mexico County official convicted of Jan. 6-related trespassing. A broader effort to keep Trump out of the vote under the Section 14 amendment is underway as a registered Republican presidential candidate has filed and has on record lawsuits in several states.