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Republicans sue to keep Trump off 2024 ballot in a key battleground state

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Washington-based ethics watchdog Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics filed a lawsuit Wednesday on behalf of a small group of voters — including former elected Republican officeholders — aiming to keep former President Donald Trump off of Colorado’s 2024 ballot. 

Section 3 of the 14 Amendment bars someone from holding future office if, while they were in office, they took an oath to uphold the Constitution but later “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or [gave] aid or comfort to the enemies thereof,” unless a two-thirds vote of Congress grants them amnesty. The group’s lawsuit hinges on this section, arguing that it applies to Trump because of his efforts to reverse his 2020 election loss and accusing the former president of inciting the mob that carried out the Capitol attack.

The lawsuit “is necessary to defend our republic both today and in the future,” CREW President Noah Bookbinder told ABC News. 

“In my decade of service in the House of Representatives, I certified multiple presidential elections and saw firsthand the importance of ethics, the rule of law and the peaceful transfer of power in our democracy,” former Republican member of Congress Claudine (Cmarada) Schneider. “This lawsuit is crucial to protecting and fortifying those fundamental democratic values, and I’m honored to be a part of it.”

Trump’s team quickly dismissed the suit with the GOP primary frontrunner denying all wrongdoing and dubbing the efforts “election interference.” His campaign spokesman Steven Cheung in a statement called the suit an “absurd conspiracy theory and political attack” on Trump, and claimed its filers “are stretching the law beyond recognition.”

Previous attempts to remove other Republicans from the ballot under section 3 have failed, but CREW successfully advocated last year to remove a New Mexico county official convicted of trespassing in connection to Jan. 6. A broader effort to keep Trump off the ballot under the 14th Amendment is underway as a write-in Republican presidential candidate has filed and docketed cases in multiple states.

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