Efforts to Exclude Trump from 2024 Ballot Gain Momentum Amidst Controversial Legal Claims, Say Experts

Former President Donald Trump’s adversaries have made multiple attempts to prevent his return to the presidency, including unfounded charges, impeachment proceedings, legal actions, and most recently, an effort to bar him from the 2024 presidential ballot.

Experts caution that this latest endeavor is unlikely to succeed and could pose a significant threat to the future of our democracy due to its political implications.

Those advocating for Trump’s disqualification from the ballot rely on Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to bolster their argument. This section, known as the Disqualifications Clause, bars individuals from holding office if they have “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” against the United States or supported those involved in such acts.

According to a report in Fox News, multiple legal experts state the high court will not allow the Disqualifications Clause argument to be used to prohibit Trump from running for office.

Jonathan Turley, a Fox News legal analyst and George Washington University law professor stated that though there “are good faith arguments in favor of this claim,” attempting to use the 14th Amendment to prohibit Trump from running for office is “not simply dubious but dangerous.”

Turley has publicly criticized Trump’s comments and actions surrounding Jan. 6 events, but explained: “The amendment was written to deal with those who engage in an actual rebellion causing hundreds of thousands of deaths.”

Turley continued. “Advocates would extend the reference to ‘insurrection or rebellion’ to include unsupported claims and challenges involving election fraud.”

Noting that Trump has not been found guilty of insurrection or incitement to rebellion, he added, “According to these advocates, Trump can be barred from the ballot without any charge, let alone a conviction, of insurrection or rebellion,” Turley said.

The legal authority recommends that taking such action could establish a worrisome legal precedent. Turley also pointed out that proponents of utilizing the Disqualification Clause contend that Congress does not need to take any action, and as a result, state and federal judges could simply disqualify individuals who are seen as supporting rebellion through their election challenges and assertions.

Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation, expressed a perspective similar to Turley’s. In his view, there are no legal justifications for preventing Trump from being on the ballot using the 14th Amendment.

Spakovsky supports his argument by referring to Congressional votes in 1872 and 1898, contending that Congress passed a second amnesty act that eliminated all previous exceptions. As a result, he asserts that the Disqualification Clause is no longer applicable and has lost its validity.

There is not a unanimous consensus on this matter. Attorney Laurence Tribe expressed his opinion that Trump ought to be disqualified from running.

Michael Sozan, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress Action Fund, said, “Following the plain language of the Constitution, Donald Trump and other officials who were involved in the January 6 insurrection are disqualified from holding future public office.”

Sozan added: “There are multiple paths to formally carry out Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. The most straightforward way is for state election officials to disqualify Trump from appearing on their state’s ballot. No doubt, this will be challenged in court — but if Supreme Court justices are serious about applying the Constitution’s plain words, they will agree with the disqualification.”

The Hill reported that Adrian Fontes, Secretary of State for Arizona said during a recent podcast that the State Supreme Court ruled, “There’s no statutory process in federal law to enforce Section 3 of the 14th amendment” and that “you can’t enforce it.”