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Colorado’s Supreme Court has ruled that Donald Trump cannot run for president next year in the state, citing a constitutional insurrection clause.
The court ruled 4-3 that Mr Trump was not an eligible candidate because he had engaged in an insurrection over the US Capitol riot nearly three years ago.
It does not stop Mr Trump running in the other states and his campaign says it will appeal to the US Supreme Court.
The decision, they said, was “completely flawed”.
The ruling only mentions the state’s primary election on 5 March, when Republican voters will choose their preferred candidate for president. But it could affect the general election in Colorado next November.
It is the first ever use of Section 3 of the US Constitution’s 14th Amendment to disqualify a presidential candidate.
Tuesday’s decision – which has been placed on hold pending appeal until next month – only applies in Colorado. Similar attempts to kick Mr Trump off the ballot in New Hampshire, Minnesota and Michigan have failed.
The justices wrote in their ruling: “We do not reach these conclusions lightly. 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.”
The decision reverses an earlier one from a Colorado judge, who ruled that the 14th Amendment’s insurrection ban did not apply to presidents because the section did not explicitly mention them.
That same lower court judge also found that Mr Trump had participated in an insurrection in the US Capitol riot. His supporters stormed Congress on 6 January 2021 while lawmakers were certifying President Joe Biden’s election victory.
The Colorado Supreme Court’s decision does not go into effect until 4 January 2024. That is the eve of the deadline for the state to print its presidential primary ballots.
Steven Cheung, a spokesman for the Trump campaign, called the ruling “completely flawed” and lambasted the justices, who were all appointed by Democratic governors.
“Democrat Party leaders are in a state of paranoia over the growing, dominant lead President Trump has amassed in the polls,” Mr Cheung said in a statement.
“They have lost faith in the failed Biden presidency and are now doing everything they can to stop the American voters from throwing them out of office next November.”
Mr Cheung added that Mr Trump’s legal team would “swiftly file an appeal” to the US Supreme Court, where conservatives hold a 6 to 3 majority.