A courtroom in Denver will host, starting Monday morning, something the nation has never seen: a trial to determine whether a major party’s likely presidential nominee is eligible to be president at all.
The lawsuit, filed in September by six Colorado voters with the help of a watchdog group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, argues that former President Donald J. Trump is ineligible to hold office again under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. That section disqualifies anyone who “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” against the Constitution after having taken an oath to support it.
The plaintiffs say that Mr. Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election — including his actions before and while his supporters stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, to try to stop the certification of Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory — meet the disqualification criteria.
It has laid out nine topics to be addressed at the trial, which is scheduled to last all week. They include whether Section 3 of the 14th Amendment applies to presidents; what “engaged” and “insurrection” mean under that section; whether Mr. Trump’s actions fit those definitions; and whether the amendment is “self-executing” — in other words, whether it can be applied without specific action by Congress identifying whom to apply it to.
These questions have been debated since the Jan. 6 attack, especially since Mr. Trump announced that he was running for president again, but there is little precedent to help answer them. The 14th Amendment was ratified shortly after the Civil War, and the disqualification clause was originally applied to people who had fought for the Confederacy. The courts have rarely had occasion to assess its modern application, and never in a case of this magnitude.
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The post Colorado Trial Will Consider Whether the 14th Amendment Disqualifies Trump appeared first on New York Times.