Bad News: Donald Trump Might Be Ineligible to Run for President Again

Donald Trump pushes to move eligibility suit to federal court: After the group known as CREW sued to remove former President Donald Trump from the presidential ballot, Trump’s attorneys have asked to move it to federal court- but they backtracked the following day. 

Donald Trump Gets Some Bad News 

Following weeks of discussion about whether former President Donald Trump might be ineligible to run for president again in 2024, one liberal group filed a lawsuit last week to remove Trump from the ballot in Colorado. 

The lawsuit, one of several already filed in the courts in different parts of the country, was brought by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), on behalf of several current and foreign government officials in the state of Colorado. 

“If the very fabric of our democracy is to hold, we must ensure that the Constitution is enforced and the same people who attacked our democratic system not be put in charge of it,” CREW President Noah Bookbinder said in the press release announcing the suit.

“We aren’t bringing this case to make a point, we’re bringing it because it is necessary to defend our republic both today and in the future. While it is unprecedented to bring this type of case against a former president, January 6th was an unprecedented attack that is exactly the kind of event the framers of the 14th Amendment wanted to build protections in case of. You don’t break the glass unless there’s an emergency.”

After the suit, Trump’s team has filed to move the case to federal court. 

Per NBC News, Trump’s attorneys are asking to move the case to Federal Court, because it concerns constitutional issues. 

“This case arises under the 14th Amendment. Although Plaintiffs have drafted their Verified Petition in a manner that ostensibly relies on state claims, in fact every state claim — indeed every effort to bar Trump from running for President — relies solely on the application of U.S. Const. 14th Amend, Sec. 3,” Trump’s team wrote in the filing. 

However, in a twist on Friday, per NBC, the Donald Trump side, “apparently upon further consideration, realized that they do not have standing to move this case to federal court and are not opposing it’s return to state court.”

“Both the constitutional lack of standing and failure to comply with statutory removal requirements compel remand here,” the Trump attorneys wrote. “Because the grounds for remand are clear and dictated by binding precedent, and because no party opposes this motion to remand, Petitioners respectfully request that the Court resolve this motion without a hearing and without awaiting an opposition.”

While the idea that the Fourteenth Amendment could mean Trump is ineligible for the ballot has been occasionally floated since shortly after January 6, the idea got new attention starting last month, after a pair of conservative law professors wrote a paper arguing that Trump should not be eligible to appear on the ballot again. 

“The Sweep and Force of Section Three,” authored by William Baude of the University of Chicago and Michael Stokes Paulsen of the University of St. Thomas, was published by the University of Pennsylvania Law Review. It argues that the Section Three language, which was written after the Civil War, is “still operative” today and applies to Trump’s actions in attempting to overturn the 2020 presidential election. 

“Donald Trump cannot be president — cannot run for president, cannot become president, cannot hold office — unless two-thirds of Congress decides to grant him amnesty for his conduct on Jan. 6,” Baude told the newspaper,” Baude, one of the authors of the paper, told the New York Times last month. 

One former judge, Michael Luttig, said in an interview on MSNBC last month that the Section Three question will eventually be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

“This is one of the most fundamental questions that could ever be decided under our constitution,” Luttig said on MSNBC’s Velshi. “And it will be decided by the Supreme Court of the United States sooner rather than later, and most likely before the first primaries.”

Author Expertise and Experience:

Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Stephen has authored thousands of articles over the years that focus on politics, technology, and the economy for over a decade. Follow him on X (formerly Twitter) at @StephenSilver, and subscribe to his Substack newsletter.

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