Utah Governor says Trump should be on the ballot

Dec 21, 2023, 7:30 AM | Updated: 7:00 pm

Utah Governor (left) and former President Donald Trump (right)...

(Left) Gov. Spencer Cox speaks to media during a monthly news conference at PBS Utah at the Eccles Broadcast Center in Salt Lake City, Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2023. (Rick Egan) (Right) Republican Presidential candidate former U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks during a campaign rally at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center on December 17, 2023 in Reno, Nevada.(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Gov. Spencer Cox cited legal theory to disagree with a ruling by the Colorado Supreme Court that removed former President Donald Trump from the state’s 2024 ballot.

Gov. Cox was answering KSL NewsRadio listener questions on Wednesday when he addressed the issue.


The decision, which has sparked legal debates across the country, is based on the interpretation of  Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, a Civil War-era provision aimed at preventing those involved in insurrection from holding public office.

“From a legal perspective, I understand the arguments that are being made under the 14th Amendment Section 3,” Cox said.

“This was a Civil-War-era amendment that was meant to keep, potentially, those who were involved in the biggest insurrection in our nation’s history, a literal civil war, from being on the ballot without approval by the legislature.”

But Cox said there is a lot of debate about whether the amendment applies to a president. He also cited discussion by legal theorists about whether the events of Jan. 6 apply as an insurrection.

Finally, another legal theory applies here, Cox said, “If it’s even a close call at all, you always allow the person on the ballot.”

That way, he said, it’s the people deciding if they want the person to be in office or not.

Cox believes Trump should be on the ballot

“I’ve said many times that I would prefer someone else to be the president,” said Gov. Cox. “We’ll get more accomplished and not bring all of the baggage that President Trump brings with him.”

Still, he noted the need for a democratic process that allows voters to choose their representatives without interference from “a small group of judges in Colorado.”

“I will say,” said Gov. Cox, “for those that don’t want Trump to be the president, anytime something like this happens, it tends to strengthen him where he gets to be the victim.”

Finally, Gov. Cox said he was confident that the U.S. Supreme Court will ultimately overturn the Colorado ruling and that former President Trump will be on the ballot in Colorado come November.

Related: Gov. Cox doesn’t think Trump can win in 2024, approves Utah GOP opting out of presidential primary

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Utah Governor says Trump should be on the ballot