Trump 14th Amendment Disqualification Trial Can Continue, Judge Rules

Former President Donald J. Trump’s team had argued that his words and actions leading up to the attack on the Capitol were protected by the First Amendment and asked that the Colorado case be thrown out.

Former President Donald J. Trump filed his declaration of candidacy in New Hampshire last week. A group of Colorado voters is arguing that he is disqualified from holding office under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment.Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

A Colorado judge on Wednesday refused a request from lawyers for former President Donald J. Trump to throw out a case challenging his eligibility to hold office again, saying she was not yet prepared to decide on what she called “significant legal issues, many of which have never been decided by any court.”

The decision by the judge, Sarah B. Wallace, means the trial will continue through Friday before a final ruling.

It came after a lawyer for Mr. Trump asked for a “directed verdict” — essentially a conclusion, even before the defense had called any witnesses, that no legally sufficient basis existed for the plaintiffs to prevail. The Trump team argued that his words and actions leading up to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol were protected by the First Amendment. Judge Wallace, who is presiding over the case in a state district court in Denver, declined to grant the request.

The case — one of several similar ones around the country — was filed by six Colorado voters who argue that Mr. Trump is disqualified under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which bars from office anyone who “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” against the Constitution after having taken an oath to support it.

Over two and a half days starting Monday, lawyers for those voters called a series of witnesses. They included two experts intended to build the case that Mr. Trump incited far-right extremists to attack the Capitol and that this constituted “engaging in insurrection,” as those

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