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Since the infamous January 6th incident in 2021, a barrage of legal indictments has been thrown at Donald Trump, the 45th President of the United States. The latest pondering is whether or not Trump is eligible to run for reelection under the 14th Amendment.
Ballot Battles in Denver
The first challenge arose recently in Denver when politicians sought to exclude Donald Trump from Colorado’s primary ballot.
14th Amendment in Focus
Now, Michigan and New Hampshire have joined in, examining the 14th Amendment thoroughly to see if there are potential barriers to Trump being on the ballot.
Section 3 Revisited
With the 14th Amendment a hot topic, many wonder what it means and how it’s being used against the former President. In essence, Trump’s opponents refer to Section 3, which could potentially disqualify Trump for engaging in rebellion against the United States — referring to the January 6th incident.
Although Section 3 was long forgotten after the Civil War era, the January 6th Capitol Riot sparked a new look into the Amendment.
Post-Capitol Riot Examination
The argument is that the former President assembled a mob to storm the Capitol with claims about a stolen election. Not only that, but he urged his followers to stop Joe Biden’s election from being certified. The indictments also mention that at no point did Trump try to stop the riot. Whether these accusations should disqualify Trump from running is up for debate.
Debate Over Eligibility
It’s important to note that no election authorities have declared Trump ineligible at this point.
However, many individuals are looking closely at the legal requirements for the presidency, including the New Hampshire Republican Secretary and Maine’s secretary of state. There is discussion amongst officials in several other states, including Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.
There has been some notable pushback against these allegations. Trump and several legal scholars, including Harvard law professor Noah Feldman, have voiced their doubts about these claims impacting eligibility.
Three main issues arise with Section 3. Firstly, there is uncertainty about whether state election authorities can enforce it. The other issue is whether or not Section 3 can even be applied to a former President of the United States. Finally, there is the issue of whether or not Trump did, indeed, violate Section 3.
Freedom of Choice
Others have voiced their concerns about opening the door for partisan abuse should Section 3 determine Trump ineligible to run for the presidency. One secretary of state even claimed it would be un-American not to give citizens the freedom to choose who they want to be the next President.