Former President Donald Trump fired off a series of posts on Truth Social on September 8 calling out a Washington D.C.-based group that is working with Republicans in Colorado to attempt to prevent Trump from being on the ballot.
The Citizens for Responsibility & Ethics in Washington (CREW) claimed in a press release that Trump had disqualified himself. The group is looking to use the 14th Amendment to prevent the former president from being included on the ballot and has filed a lawsuit in Colorado.
The lawsuit claims Trump is ineligible for the election because he “incited and encouraged a violent mob that attacked the Capitol on January 6, 2021, in a futile attempt to remain in office.”
The group believes that Section 3 of the amendment applies to Trump. That section states that a person cannot hold elected office if they are involved in an insurrection or a rebellion against the U.S. government. The group is framing Trump’s actions surrounding the January 6 incident in 2020 as an insurrection that would preclude the former president from holding office again.
Despite facing numerous lawsuits and charges resulting from the January 6 incident and other issues, Trump has never been charged with insurrection. The dubious legal ploy seeks to use a law in a way that has never been done before.
In addition to the CREW lawsuit, Trump is facing a similar tactic in Florida. Democrats in Congress applaud the effort with Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) both claiming publicly that Trump violated the Constitution with his actions before, during and after the incident.
Can the 14th Amendment be used to remove Trump from the ballot? Attorney @AlanDersh tells me why he believes any attempt to do so will fail: “It's ABSURD. The framers of the Constitution would have never tolerated something like that." pic.twitter.com/CZujhFoBzI
— Glenn Beck (@glennbeck) September 6, 2023
Section 3 was added during Reconstruction as a ploy by Republicans to prevent Southern Democrats who supported the Confederacy from holding elected office. Recently, the law was used to remove an elected official in New Mexico who participated in the January 6 incident.
Legal scholars have pointed out that the effort will likely fail, as Trump has not been charged with insurrection and his actions around the day in question are unlikely to amount to treason. An attempt to use the law to prevent the reelection of Marjorie Taylor-Greene (R-GA) last year failed after the court found that the group that filed the lawsuit failed to provide evidence that Greene violated the Constitution.
Trump’s fiery response to the Colorado lawsuit included his calling the group “slime balls” for the efforts to prevent his reelection. Trump is currently leading all Republican candidates in polling and likely stands a good chance of reelection in a run-off against current President Joe Biden.
Trump faces federal charges in New York and Georgia related to efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election. He is also facing lawsuits that relate to his business dealings and taxes. The suits against him are unlikely to be resolved before the election in 2024, but the newest legal maneuvering could set a new and unique precedent for preventing an unpopular person from seeking office.