Efforts to Eliminate Trump from Appearing on the 2024 Ballot are Gaining Momentum

Legal Challenges Mount to Keep Donald Trump Off the 2024 Ballot Under the 14th Amendment Efforts to prevent former President


Legal Challenges Mount to Keep Donald Trump Off the 2024 Ballot Under the 14th Amendment

Efforts to prevent former President Donald Trump from appearing on the 2024 ballot are gaining momentum as election officials in crucial states grapple with or anticipate legal disputes surrounding Trump’s candidacy.

The argument to disqualify Trump from primary or general election ballots hinges on Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This section stipulates that an elected official cannot hold public office if they “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against” the United States or provided “aid or comfort to the enemies thereof,” unless granted amnesty by a two-thirds vote of Congress.

Donald Trump

Various advocacy groups contend that Trump’s actions on January 6, 2021, meet these criteria, as they assert that he directly participated in an insurrection. This legal theory has been employed, albeit unsuccessfully, against a handful of elected Republicans, alleging that their activities surrounding January 6 and their support for overturning the 2020 election results constitute disqualifying conduct.

Trump has consistently denied any involvement in the Capitol attack, dismissing the efforts to disqualify him as baseless.

“The people who are pursuing this absurd conspiracy theory and political attack on President Trump are stretching the law beyond recognition much like the political prosecutors in New York, Georgia, and DC. There is no legal basis for this effort…,” remarked Trump campaign spokesperson Steven Chung.

The drive to disqualify Trump under this constitutional provision gained further traction when two members of the conservative Federalist Society, William Baude and Michael Stokes Paulsen, expressed support for the idea in the Pennsylvania Law Review. Subsequently, retired conservative federal appeals judge J. Michael Luttig and Harvard Law Professor Emeritus Laurence Tribe echoed this argument in The Atlantic.

Now, the prospect of legal filings against Trump under this clause is growing in several states, including New Hampshire, Arizona, and Michigan, where a lawsuit to disqualify Trump was recently filed. Secretaries of state in these states have taken preliminary measures to prepare for the potential scenario of conducting elections without the current GOP frontrunner.

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, a Democrat, revealed that conversations among secretaries of state from various states began over a year ago as they anticipated legal challenges to Trump’s candidacy. She emphasized the need for readiness, recognizing that this issue may evolve with multiple decision points throughout the election cycle.

Donald Trump

Nonetheless, as discussions intensify regarding the utilization of the 14th Amendment provision, concerns are emerging among legal scholars and election officials about the practicality of these burgeoning lawsuits. According to Laurence Tribe, the procedural complexities surrounding these challenges, particularly regarding who possesses standing to bring them, pose the most significant hurdles.

“You can be sure that many secretaries of state, advised by many legal experts from across the ideological spectrum, are now studying the details of the legislative regimes in place in their respective states for dealing with challenges to the eligibility of candidates aspiring to become president,” Tribe remarked, highlighting the need for a thorough examination of state laws and procedures.