Excerpts from the petition to the Supreme Court by the left-wing activist group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). CREW is outlining its argument, adopted by the Colorado Supreme Court, for expediting a Supreme Court review of the decision to remove Donald Trump from the presidential primary ballot.
This case involves issues of exceptional national importance. The Colorado Supreme Court correctly held that Trump was disqualified from Colorado’s presidential election primary ballot under Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment because he engaged in insurrection against the Constitution. Colorado, along with fifteen other states and territories, holds its presidential primary on Super Tuesday, March 5, 2024.1 This motion seeks to expedite the Court’s consideration of this petition and any petition filed by Trump, and any subsequent review on the merits, so that the important question of Trump’s eligibility can be resolved by this Court before most primary voters cast their ballots…
On September 6, 2023, four Republican and two unaffiliated Colorado voters sued the Colorado Secretary of State and Trump using a state law procedure that allows Colorado voters to challenge qualifications of primary candidates seeking to be on the ballot. After extensive pretrial briefing and disclosures, the district court held a five-day evidentiary hearing beginning on October 30. It issued a decision on November 17. The trial court found that the attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, was an insurrection against the Constitution and that Trump engaged in that insurrection but that Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment did not apply to him.
The Colorado Supreme Court accepted Trump’s and the Anderson Respondents’ applications for review on November 21, heard argument on December 6, and issued its opinion on December 19, holding that Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment disqualified Trump from appearing on Colorado’s primary ballot. The court stayed its order through January 4, the day before the Colorado deadline to certify the ballot, and held: “If review is sought in the Supreme Court before the stay expires, it shall remain in place, and the Secretary will continue to be required to include President Trump’s name on the 2024 presidential primary ballot until the receipt of any order or mandate from the Supreme Court.” 2023 CO 63, ¶ 257.
Expedited consideration of the petitions for writ of certiorari, and briefing on the merits if certiorari is granted, is warranted.
1. This case involves an issue of exceptional national importance: whether a former president, and current candidate for president, who has engaged in insurrection against the Constitution is disqualified from holding that office again. The petitions for certiorari should be resolved as quickly as possible—preferably by January 5—so that, if the petitions are denied, Colorado ballots will not include a disqualified candidate.
If the petitions are granted, briefing and argument on the merits should similarly occur as quickly as practicable. There will not be enough time to resolve the merits before the Secretary certifies the primary ballot on January 5. The Court should nevertheless decide the merits on an accelerated basis to reduce voter confusion and ensure that primary voters cast their vote knowing whether Trump is disqualified from the Presidency. In Colorado, county clerks from each of its 64 counties must mail ballots to overseas voters on January 20 and to in-state voters starting on February 12 (and must complete mailing by February 16).3 And all in- state ballots must be returned by Super Tuesday, March 5, to be counted. Id
Even though the Colorado Supreme Court’s self-imposed stay ensured that Trump will appear on the ballot until an order or mandate from this Court, this Court’s decision here will affect whether and how ballots cast for Trump will be
3 See Colorado Secretary of State, 2024 Election Calendar, https://www.sos.state.co.us/pubs/elections/calendars/2024ElectionCalendar.pdf.
counted in Colorado. See generally C.R.S. §§ 1-4-1001, 1-4-1003, 1-4-1004. Voters should know the answer to these questions before they cast their ballots.
Thus, having a decision on the merits by February 11 would ensure that every in-state Colorado voter knows of this Court’s decision before receiving their ballot and casting their primary vote.
2. Only three states and one territory have Republican primary elections or caucuses before February 11. Iowa holds its Republican caucus on January 15, New Hampshire holds its primary on January 23, the Virgin Islands and Nevada hold their Republican caucuses on February 8.4 And these early contests allocate only 92 of the total 2,429 delegates at issue in the primaries.5
Read the full petition at the link below: