Growing Calls For Donald Trump To Be Barred Puts Pressure On States – Attempts to bar former president Donald Trump from public office are nothing new, but what could be the most challenging test for the Republican frontrunner yet remains prevalent.
How Donald Trump Could Be Banned from Running for President
An academic article written by two conservative scholars, William Baude and Michael Stokes Paulsen, has raised questions as to whether Trump can run for public office. Their article focuses on a disqualification clause as part of the 14th Amendment introduced after the American Civil War.
The two claim that Trump could be banned having taken an oath to the constitution before he “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same.”
“If the public record is accurate, the case is not even close. He is no longer eligible to the office of Presidency, or any other state or federal office covered by the Constitution. All who are committed to the Constitution should take note and say so,” they wrote in the article.
It’s sparked attempts from anti-Trump conservatives to bar him from running in the primaries, with New Hampshire – one of the first major tests for Republican presidential candidates – being a notable example.
Efforts Ramping Up
Challenges to Trump’s candidacy have begun to be filed, with one in Colorado filed last week. It’s an unprecedented situation, having only been used once for any officeholder in the past century. Any attempts to bar Trump will be settled by the courts, including the Supreme Court which comprises of a conservative majority with three Trump appointees.
Jocelyn Benson, Michigan’s Democratic Secretary of State, has said the issue is discussed with counterparts “nearly every day.”
“The north star for me is always: ‘What is the law? What does the constitution require?’ To keep politics and partisan considerations out of it. And simply just look at this from a sense of ‘what does the 14th Amendment say?’ We’re in unprecedented, uncharted territory,” she said.
“There are a lot of ambiguities and unknowns still yet to play out,” Benson added. “Even if the former president does get elected in the fall of ’24, it could re-emerge then after an election. So, we’re also preparing for a lack of finality of this and for it to be an issue throughout the cycle.”
It leaves a tricky dilemma for secretaries of state across the nation. Adrian Fontes, Secretary of State for Arizona, is faced with the issue of an existing state supreme court ruling. In Maine, Shenna Bellows, also a Democrat, said she would be waiting for a potentially disqualified candidate to filed for the ballot.
“While people outside of the business of running elections are free to speculate and inquire, debate, that is not our job. Our job is to follow the law and the constitution and not to make premature conclusions or speculation about what might or might not happen,” she said.
Growing pressure on lawmakers is only expected to grow, and many will be waiting for the landmark decision in one state to trigger a domino effect across the country.
Shay Bottomley is a British journalist based in Canada. He has written for the Western Standard, Maidenhead Advertiser, Slough Express, Windsor Express, Berkshire Live and Southend Echo, and has covered notable events including the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.