President Joe Biden said on Wednesday there was no question that former President Donald Trump was responsible for leading an insurrection.

President Joe Biden said on Wednesday there was no question that former President Donald Trump was responsible for leading an insurrection. But he declined to weigh in on the legal argument unleashed by the Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling that barred Trump from the state’s ballot, pointedly leaving those matters to the judiciary.

“It’s self-evident. You saw it all. Now whether the 14th Amendment applies, I’ll let the court make that decision,” the president said during a trip to Wisconsin. “But he certainly supported an insurrection. No question about it. None. Zero.”

Biden’s comments came hours after the state Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday evening that Trump’s involvement in the Jan. 6 insurrection violated the 14th Amendment and invalidated him from holding elected office. They underscored the delicate balance that Democrats have tried to achieve in the wake of the ruling.

For many in the party, there was little upside seen in commenting on a legal matter that was certain to be considered by the Supreme Court — and likely to be struck down by the justices there. Their subdued reaction was driven, in part, by concerns that outward celebration would play into Trump’s hands, inflaming his supporters and giving fodder for him to argue that the judicial system was stacked against him.

“It just kind of adds to the pile of wood that he puts on the fire,” said a senior Democratic strategist, speaking candidly on condition of anonymity. “And I just don’t think it’s helpful.”

But it was also sparked by fears that cheering on the decision would make people dismiss the severity of the ruling and risk positioning Biden as hoping the court system was doing his political work for him.

“I would not engage in a discussion about this,” said David Axelrod, the longtime party operative. “I would be preparing to face Trump. The way they’re handling it is the right way. You don’t want to tell the American people — I don’t trust you to make the decision.”

Few Democrats on Wednesday challenged the merits of the Colorado court’s decision. In fact, several Biden allies said they believed that the 4-3 ruling, issued by all Democratic-appointed justices, had been correct.

“I think it’s on point. I think they’re right in what they’re doing,” said former Sen. Ted Kaufman, who served as Biden’s former chief of staff. “That’s what the Constitution says. It says it’s an insurrection, clearly what they did was an insurrection. It’s pretty straightforward, isn’t it?”


Party officials also dismissed the idea that the court had started the country down a slippery slope, inviting a conservative state judicial body to respond by throwing Democrats off their ballot, however specious the reasoning was.

“If you’re worrying about that, you’re buying into a Republican premise, which is that courts are hopelessly politicized,” said Pat Dennis, president of the Democratic super PAC, American Bridge 21st Century. “And I think that is like a fundamental premise that they need in order to delegitimize a legitimate prosecution of the former president. I don’t buy that premise.”

Republicans, meanwhile, were quick to denounce Tuesday night’s ruling, saying that the findings by the four justices amounted to political interference in the election. They argued that they had far exceeded their authority and warned that Trump would only benefit from the decision.

Trump’s rivals in the primary defended him as well, stressing that they preferred to defeat him at the ballot box — a line later mirrored by the Biden campaign.

“We’re not going to comment on ongoing litigation,” said Biden campaign deputy communications director, Brooke Goren. “What I will say is that the president looks forward to defeating Donald Trump or whoever else emerges from the Republican primary on the ballot box in November in 2024. So I’ll leave it at that.”

Those who did openly celebrate were the longtime conservative lawyers who had helped spearhead the case as well as a portion of the legal and political left that had joined their efforts.

Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) argued that even were the Supreme Court to reverse the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision, it have some residual benefit — reinforcing public perception that the high court is beholden to the former president.

“It’s going to feed into how partisan and beholden the U.S. Supreme Court is to Donald Trump,” Lieu said. “It feeds into the whole Roe v Wade decision, and how he appointed ultra religious justices to overturn Roe versus Wade. And do you really want Trump, again, who is going to appoint even more.”

Ian Bassin, executive director of the group Protect Democracy noted that, at a minimum, the decision meant that heading into the election, a state Supreme Court “has found that Donald Trump engaged in insurrection.” He also noted “an almost Shakespearean irony” produced by the decision.

“Trump’s MO has always been to accuse others of the transgressions of which he himself is guilty, largely to obfuscate his own guilt,” said Bassin. “So it’s fitting that after rising to political power by falsely accusing Barack Obama of not being eligible to be president, it’s Trump who it turns out has now been found by a court to be the actually ineligible one.”

Republicans are calling for President Joe Biden to be removed from state presidential ballots following a Colorado court ruling that Donald Trump is not permitted to be on its ballot next year.


In a 4-3 decision on Wednesday, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that the former president violated the 14th Amendment, which bars public officials from holding federal office if they have engaged in insurrection.

In November, a lower court in Colorado had agreed with the plaintiffs, a group of Colorado voters including Norma Anderson, a petitioner and former Republican majority leader of the Colorado House and Senate, that Trump engaged in insurrection over his behavior during the riot at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. During the siege, Trump supporters stormed the building in protest of his election loss.

Trump, the frontrunner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, has denied all wrongdoing and has not been charged with insurrection. He has argued that courts do not have the authority to bar candidates from the ballot under the constitutional provision.

Now, some Republicans have said Biden, too, should be removed from state ballots, though it is not clear on what constitutional grounds.

Newsweek reached out to the Republican Party via email for comment.

Anthony Sabatini, a Republican running for Congress in Florida’s 11th district who previously served as a Florida state representative, wrote on X, formerly Twitter: “Remove Biden from the Florida ballot now!”

Speaking to Fox News, Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick suggested Biden should be removed from his state’s 2024 ballot due to his administration’s response to immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border.

“Seeing what happened in Colorado makes me think—except we believe in democracy in Texas—maybe we should take Joe Biden off the ballot in Texas for allowing eight million people to cross the border since he’s been president disrupting our state,” Patrick said.

Political commentator Gunther Eagleman posted on X that Biden should be removed from the Texas ballot after the Colorado ruling. Peachy Keenan, a conservative commentator and author, took it a step further, writing on X: “All red states should immediately petition their courts to remove Biden from the ballot.”

The Colorado Supreme Court said in its ruling: “A majority of the court holds that President Trump is disqualified from holding the office of President under Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

“President Trump did not merely incite the insurrection,” it added. “Even when the siege on the Capitol was fully underway, he continued to support it by repeatedly demanding that Vice President Pence refuse to perform his constitutional duty and by calling Senators to persuade them to stop the counting of electoral votes. These actions constituted overt, voluntary, and direct participation in the insurrection.”

Reacting to the Trump’s ruling, Trump campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung said they would be appealing the decision to to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“Unsurprisingly, the all-Democrat-appointed Colorado Supreme Court has ruled against President Trump, supporting a [George] Soros-funded, left-wing group’s scheme to interfere in an election on behalf of Crooked Joe Biden by removing President Trump’s name from the ballot and eliminating the rights of Colorado voters to vote for the candidate of their choice,” Cheung said in a statement.

Cheung added: “Democrat Party leaders are in a state of paranoia over the growing, dominant lead President Trump has amassed in the polls. 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.

“The Colorado Supreme Court issued a completely flawed decision tonight and we will swiftly file an appeal to the United States Supreme Court and a concurrent request for a stay of this deeply undemocratic decision. We have full confidence that the U.S. Supreme Court will quickly rule in our favor and finally put an end to these unAmerican lawsuits.”