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 the rest of the week before a final ruling.
It came after a lawyer for Mr. Trump had made a motion 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 definitively protected by the First Amendment. Judge Wallace, who is presiding over the case in a state district court in Denver, declined to grant the motion.
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.
“To be clear, I’m not deciding any of these issues,” Judge Wallace said, referring, among other things, to the relative weights of the First and 14th Amendments and how they interact with each other. “I’m denying the motion for directed verdict because in order to grant the motion for directed verdict, I would have to decide many legal issues that I am simply not prepared to decide today.”
This is a breaking news article and will be updated.