Trump asks to move 14th Amendment case against him to federal court

A Trump campaign spokesperson said there is no "legal basis" for the argument.

September 8, 2023, 5:10 PM

Former President Donald Trump on Friday asked to have the case to bar him from the Colorado ballot under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment be moved from state court to federal court.

In the notice of removal, it says "there is an urgent public interest in promptly resolving whether Trump is constitutionally eligible to serve as president in advance of the approaching primary election."

Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold's office responded to Trump's filing, saying that state courts were "well suited" to answer 14th Amendment questions and that the office is "exploring legal options."

Trump’s request was automatically granted, which is standard practice. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) -- the watchdog organization that earlier this week filed the 14th Amendment lawsuit on behalf of six Colorado voters -- is planning to "soon" file a motion that will trigger the court system’s decision on where the case would be heard.

The argument to disqualify Trump from the ballot involves Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution's 14th Amendment, which says that a public official is not eligible to assume public office if that person "engaged in insurrection or rebellion against" the United States, or had "given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof," unless granted amnesty by a two-thirds vote of Congress.

PHOTO: Former President Donald Trump arrives at Trump Tower on Sept. 4, 2023 in New York City.
Former President Donald Trump arrives at Trump Tower on Sept. 4, 2023 in New York City.
Photo by James Devaney/GC Images via Getty Images

Advocacy groups have argued that Trump's behavior after the 2020 election meets those criteria. Trump has denied any wrongdoing.

Steven Cheung, a spokesperson for the Trump campaign, has told ABC News that there is no "legal basis" for the 14th Amendment argument.

CREW was successful in its efforts last year to remove a New Mexico county commissioner who had been convicted of misdemeanor trespass because he entered the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

CREW's actions are part of a more significant effort by individuals and organizations across the country preparing to file legal challenges and lawsuits against the former president to keep him off the ballot in multiple states.

One of the lawyers representing Trump is Scott Gessler, the Colorado secretary of state from 2011-2015.