Vivek Ramaswamy Pledges to Withdraw From Colorado GOP Primary Ballot After Trump Is Disqualified

Vivek Ramaswamy Pledges to Withdraw From Colorado GOP Primary Ballot After Trump Is Disqualified

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The 38-year-old tech entrepreneur says the Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling is an ‘attack on democracy’.

Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy has vowed to withdraw from the GOP primary ballot in Colorado after the state’s Supreme Court ruled on Dec. 19 that former President Donald Trump is not eligible to run for president.

The 38-year-old tech entrepreneur took to X to condemn the court’s 4-3 ruling, which makes President Trump the first candidate in U.S. history to be deemed ineligible to make a White House bid.

Mr. Ramaswamy called the ruling an “attack on democracy” and urged other Republican candidates to remove their names from the Colorado primary ballot if the court fails to reinstate President Trump.

“In an un-American, unconstitutional, and *unprecedented* decision, a cabal of Democrat judges are barring Trump from the ballot in Colorado,” Mr. Ramaswamy wrote.

“Having tried every trick in the book to eliminate President Trump from running in this election, the bipartisan Establishment is now deploying a new tactic to bar him from ever holding office again: the 14th Amendment,” he said.

“I pledge to *withdraw* from the Colorado GOP primary unless Trump is also allowed to be on the state’s ballot, and I demand that Ron DeSantis, Chris Christie, and Nikki Haley to do the same immediately – or else they are tacitly endorsing this illegal maneuver which will have disastrous consequences for our country.”

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The Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling on Dec. 19 centered on the 14th Amendment’s “insurrection clause,” which bars officials who have engaged in “insurrection or rebellion” from holding office.

The Colorado high court, which is composed entirely of Democrat appointees, determined President Trump had engaged in insurrection during the Jan. 6, 2021, breach of the U.S. Capitol.

The latest ruling only applies to Colorado’s Republican primary, which is scheduled to take place on March 5.

President Trump has already vowed to appeal the decision.

Mr. Ramaswamy, in his post on X, went on to call the court’s decision “an election interference tactic to silence political opponents and swing the election for whatever puppet the Democrats put up this time by depriving Americans of the right to vote for their candidate of choice.”

He noted that the 14th Amendment, ratified after the Civil War, “was passed to prohibit former Confederate military and political leaders from holding high federal or state office.”

“These men had clearly taken part in a rebellion against the United States: the Civil War. That makes it all the more absurd that a left-wing group in Colorado is asking a federal court to disqualify the 45th President on the same grounds, equating his speech to rebellion against the United States,” Mr. Ramaswamy continued.

He also noted that the 14th Amendment’s insurrection clause prevents the holding of “any office … under the United States” if a person “having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State” to “support” the Constitution engaged in insurrection.
 Former President Donald Trump leaves the courtroom during a break in the civil fraud trial against the Trump Organization at the New York State Supreme Court in New York City on Dec. 7, 2023. (Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images)
Former President Donald Trump leaves the courtroom during a break in the civil fraud trial against the Trump Organization at the New York State Supreme Court in New York City on Dec. 7, 2023. (Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images)

Ruling Has ‘Legal Issues’

The Dec. 19 ruling reverses a lower court ruling handed down by Colorado 2nd District Court Judge Sarah Wallace in November that President Trump was allowed to appear on the state’s ballot despite having “engaged” in an “insurrection” on Jan. 6, 2021, because Section 3 of the 14th Amendment does not apply to presidents.

Mr. Ramaswamy also noted a “legal problem” with the specific wording of the clause.

“Trump is not a former ‘officer of the United States,’ as that term is used in the Constitution, meaning Section 3 does not apply,” he said. “The Framers of the 14th Amendment would be appalled to see this narrow provision—intended to bar former U.S. officials who switched to the Confederacy from seeking public office—being weaponized by a sitting President and his political allies to prevent a former President from seeking reelection.”

“Our country is becoming unrecognizable to our Founding Fathers,” he concluded.

The court in Colorado put its ruling on hold until Jan. 4 to first allow a review by the U.S. Supreme Court.

“We do not reach these conclusions lightly,” the state Supreme Court wrote in its ruling. “We are mindful of the magnitude and weight of the questions now before us. We are likewise mindful of our solemn duty to apply the law, without fear or favor, and without being swayed by public reaction to the decisions that the law mandates we reach.”

In a statement on Dec. 19, President Trump’s legal spokeswoman, Alina Habba, stated: “This ruling, issued by the Colorado Supreme Court, attacks the very heart of this nation’s democracy. It will not stand, and we trust that the Supreme Court will reverse this unconstitutional order.”

Catherine Yang contributed to this report.


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