The prospect of Donald Trump running for the presidency in 2024 faces a formidable challenge, rooted in Section 3 of the 14th Amendment of the Constitution. This amendment bars individuals who have engaged in insurrection or aided the nation’s enemies from holding public office. Citizens in multiple states are currently questioning Trump’s eligibility, with discussions of more challenges looming.
The Jan. 6 committee has recommended the establishment of a formal mechanism to assess whether those involved in the insurrection should be disqualified from office. They assert that the central figure behind the events of January 6th was Donald Trump, without whom none of it would have transpired.
News reports reveal that secretaries of state across the country are grappling with how to address these challenges. In Arizona, Secretary of State Adrian Fontes highlights the need for a final certification of eligible candidates for the primary ballot by December 14, emphasizing the seriousness of the situation due to its potential legal implications.
Legal scholars associated with the conservative Federalist Society, including William Baude of the University of Chicago and Michael Stokes Paulsen of the University of St. Thomas, have researched the 14th Amendment’s applicability to Trump’s candidacy. Their findings suggest that Trump’s appearance on the ballot may require a two-thirds congressional amnesty for his actions on January 6th.
Furthermore, legal battles challenging Trump’s eligibility are emerging in Florida and New Hampshire. Even Trump-endorsed figures like Bryant “Corky” Messner in New Hampshire are questioning Trump’s suitability for office in the face of constitutional concerns.
Advocacy organizations, such as Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and Free Speech for the People, are also gearing up to challenge Trump’s eligibility. As preparations continue, state officials like Arizona’s Adrian Fontes must navigate a complex legal landscape. While current rulings by the Arizona Supreme Court do not exclude Trump from the ballot, the final verdict remains uncertain, leaving room for potential legal actions to determine Trump’s candidacy status.